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Ms. Eva H. G. Hüpkes, Mr. Michael W Taylor, and Mr. Marc G Quintyn

Abstract

Policymakers are often reluctant to grant independence to the agencies that regulate and supervise the financial sector because of the fear that these agencies, with their wide-ranging responsibilities and powers, could become a law unto themselves. This pamphlet describes mechanisms for making regulatory agencies accountable not only to the government but also to the industry they supervise and the public at large, with examples from a range of countries.

Ms. Eva H. G. Hüpkes, Mr. Michael W Taylor, and Mr. Marc G Quintyn

Abstract

Why are policymakers reluctant to grant independence to the agencies that regulate and supervise the financial sector, despite mounting empirical evidence that independence makes for a healthier financial system?

Toan Quoc Nguyen, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Ms. Rina Bhattacharya

Abstract

The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, launched in 1999 by the IMF and the World Bank, was the first coordinated effort by the international financial community to reduce the foreign debt of the world’s poorest countries. It was based on the theory that economic growth in heavily indebted poor countries was being stifled by heavy debt burdens, making it virtually impossible for these countries to escape poverty. However, most of the empirical research on the effects of debt on growth has lumped together a diverse group of countries, and the literature on the countries’ impact of debt on poor is scant. This pamphlet presents the findings of the authors’ empirical research into the subject, analyzing the channels through which debt affects growth in low-income countries.

Toan Quoc Nguyen, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Ms. Rina Bhattacharya

Abstract

The 1996 launch of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative by the IMF and the World Bank revived a long-standing debate over the relationship between foreignborrowing and economic growth. The goal of the HIPC Initiative—which provides comprehensive debt relief to poor nations struggling to service heavy foreign debt burdens—is to prevent unsustainable debt burdens from hampering development in the world’s poorest nations. Indeed, one of the principal motivations for the HIPC Initiative is concern that a heavy debt burden compromises economic growth.

Mr. Mark R. Stone

Abstract

Large-scale corporate restructuring made necessary by a financial crisis is one of the most daunting challenges faced by economic policymakers. The government is forced to take a leading role, even if indirectly, because of the need to prioritize policy goals, address market failures, reform the legal and tax systems, and deal with the resistance of powerful interest groups. The objectives of large-scale corporate restructuring are in essence to restructure viable corporations and liquidate nonviable ones, restore the health of the financial sector, and create the conditions for long-term economic growth.

Mr. Andrew Berg and Ms. Catherine A Pattillo

Abstract

The integration of financial markets around the world over the past decade has posed new challenges for policymakers. The speed with which money can be switched in and out of currencies and countries has increased with the efficiency of global communications, considerably shortening the time policymakers have to respond to emerging crises. This pamphlet takes alook at attempts by economists to predict crises by developing early warning systems to signal when trouble may be brewing in currency markets and banking systems.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The phenomenon of substantial peacetime budget deficits over the past20 years has been traced to the burden of entitlements, a slowdown ineconomic productivity, and demographic and macroeconomic shifts in theindustrial countries. Though smaller and structurally different, deficitsin developing countries have also become worrisome. Most economists agreethat measures to reduce government spending are imperative, particularlythrough restructuring entitlement programs.