The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, which has hit financial systems across Africa, is likely to deteriorate banks’ balance sheets. The largest threat to banks pertains to their loan portfolios, since many borrowers have faced a sharp collapse in their income, and therefore have difficulty repaying their obligations as they come due. This could lead to a sharp increase in nonperforming loans (NPLs) in the short to medium term.
Mr. Johannes Herderschee, Ran Li, Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, and Ms. Luisa Zanforlin
Whereas most of the literature related to the so-called “resource curse” tends to emphasize on institutional factors and public policies, in this research we focus on the role of the financial sector, which has been surprisingly overlooked. We find that countries that have financial systems with more depth, as well as those that actively manage their central banks’ balance sheets experience less exchange-rate appreciation than countries that do not. We analyze the relationship between these two findings and suggest that they appear to follow separate mechanisms.
Hans Weisfeld, Mr. Irineu E de Carvalho Filho, Mr. Fabio Comelli, Rahul Giri, Klaus-Peter Hellwig, Chengyu Huang, Fei Liu, Mrs. Sandra V Lizarazo Ruiz, Alexis Mayer Cirkel, and Mr. Andrea F Presbitero
In recent years, Fund staff has prepared cross-country analyses of macroeconomic vulnerabilities in low-income countries, focusing on the risk of sharp declines in economic growth and of debt distress. We discuss routes to broadening this focus by adding several macroeconomic and macrofinancial vulnerability concepts. The associated early warning systems draw on advances in predictive modeling.
Mrs. Kerstin Gerling, Mr. Paulo A Medas, Mr. Tigran Poghosyan, Juan Farah-Yacoub, and Yizhi Xu
A key objective of fiscal policy is to maintain the sustainability of public finances and avoid crises. Remarkably, there is very limited analysis on fiscal crises. This paper presents a new database of fiscal crises covering different country groups, including low-income developing countries (LIDCs) that have been mostly ignored in the past. Countries faced on average two crises since 1970, with the highest frequency in LIDCs and lowest in advanced economies. The data sheds some light on policies and economic dynamics around crises. LIDCs, which are usually seen as more vulnerable to shocks, appear to suffer the least in crisis periods. Surprisingly, advanced economies face greater turbulence (growth declines sharply in the first two years of the crisis), with half of them experiencing economic contractions. Fiscal policy is usually procyclical as countries curtail expenditure growth when economic activity weakens. We also find that the decline in economic growth is magnified if accompanied by a financial crisis.
The Nigerian financial system underwent a banking crisis in 2008–09, owing to the global financial crisis and domestic events. The decisive crisis response effectively stabilized the banking system, but the challenge now is to devise a credible exit strategy. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has a broad resolution toolkit, which was put to use during the crisis to resolve the intervened banks. The Nigerian authorities set up the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to purchase nonperforming loans of banks.
This forthcoming title in the Departmental Paper Series describes the special challenges facing low-income countries as economic growth contracts by an estimated 1.1 percent globally. Coping with the Crisis: Challenges Facing Low-Income Countries provides an assessment of the implications of the financial crisis for low-income countries, evaluates the short-term macroeconomic outlook for these countries, and discusses the policy challenges they face. Chapters cover the outlook for global economic growth and commodity prices, an overview of how low-income countries have been affected, fiscal policy, monetary and exchange rate policy responses, potential external financing needs and how the international community, including the IMF, can help countries meet them. The challenges ahead for low-income countries are delineated, including debt vulnerabilities and the need for countries to develop well-regulated local capital markets and banking systems, as well as enhanced public sector efficiency.
IMF research summaries on governance of banks (by Luc Laeven) and on whether there is a foreign aid paradox (by Thierry Tressel); country study on Mozambique (by Jean A.P. Clément and Shanaka J. Peiris); listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July 2007-January 2008; listing of contents of Vol. 54, Issue No. 4 of IMF Staff Papers; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; listing of recent external publications by IMF staff; and a call for papers for the upcoming Conference on International Finance.
Over the past six months, work has concentrated on making surveillance more effective, reforming quotas and voice, and reviewing the finances of the institution to place them on a sustainable footing. Progress has also been made with other key elements of the medium-term strategy, including capacity building, crisis prevention, and support for emerging markets and low-income countries. In January, the Fund welcomed its 185th member, the Republic of Montenegro
This paper studies the apparent contradictions between two strands of the literature on the effects of financial intermediation on economic activity. On the one hand, the empirical growth literature finds a positive effect of financial depth as measured by, for instance, private domestic credit and liquid liabilities. On the other hand, the banking and currency crisis literature finds that monetary aggregates, such as domestic credit, are among the best predictors of crises and their related economic downturns. This paper accounts for these contrasting effects based on the distinction between the short- and long-run effects of financial intermediation.