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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Finance and Development, December 2015

Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Torbjorn I. Becker, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Romain Ranciere, and Mr. Olivier D Jeanne

Abstract

This paper focuses on what countries can do on their own—that is, on the role of domestic policies—with respect to country insurance. Member countries are routinely faced with a range of shocks that can contribute to higher volatility in aggregate output and, in extreme cases, to economic crises. The presence of such risks underlies a potential demand for mechanisms to soften the blow from adverse economic shocks. For all countries, the first line of defense against adverse shocks is the pursuit of sound policies. In light of the large costs experienced by emerging markets and developing countries as a result of past debt crises, fiscal policies should seek to improve sustainability, taking into account that sustainable debt levels seem to be lower in emerging and developing countries than in advanced countries. Although much can be accomplished by individual countries through sound policies, risk management, and self-insurance through reserves, collective insurance arrangements are likely to continue playing a key role in cushioning countries from the impact of shocks.

International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, and Review Department
The paper revisits the two-pillar framework for assessing the adequacy of Fund resources. Responding to Directors suggestions, the quantitative pillar is updated to include alternative assumptions and to provide a longer-term perspective on likely resource needs. While quantitative estimates are generally somewhat lower after factoring in the alternative assumptions, these reductions are more than outweighed when the analysis is extended through the middle of the next decade, recognizing that the outcome of the 15th Review will likely determine permanent Fund resources through at least the middle of the next decade. The updated qualitative pillar analysis highlights reforms since the global financial crisis and discusses uncertainties in the global environment. It also provides an assessment of the general impact of the various qualitative considerations. Taken together, the two pillars continue to make a case for at least maintaining existing Fund resources. Against this background, the simulations in the paper cover three illustrative sizes for quota increases (50, 75, and 100 percent), centered on broadly maintaining Fund resources, assuming the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) is maintained at its current level and Bilateral Borrowing Agreements (BBAs) expire.