The IMF has released the 2013 External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users (2013 EDS Guide), which contains updated global standards for the compilation, reporting, and analytical use of external debt statistics. The 2013 EDS Guide was prepared under the responsibility of the nine organizations in the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics (TFFS), in close consultation with national compilers of external debt, balance of payments, and international investment position statistics.  The 2013 EDS Guide reflects the significant developments in international finance since the issuance of the 2003 EDS Guide. The 2013 EDS Guide provides guidance on (1) the concepts, definitions, and classifications of external debt data; (2) the sources and techniques for compiling these data; and (3) the analytical uses of these data. The concepts set out in the 2013 EDS Guide are fully harmonized with those of the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) and the sixth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6).  The TFFS is chaired by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and its member agencies are the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec), the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (Eurostat), the IMF, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Paris Club Secretariat, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the World Bank.
Toan Quoc Nguyen, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Ms. Rina Bhattacharya
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.
This Guide provides clear, up-to-date guidance on the concepts, definitions, and classifications of the gross external debt of the public and private sectors, and on the sources, compilation techniques, and analytical uses of these data. The Guide supersedes the previous international guidance on external debt statistics available in External Debt: Definition, Statistical Coverage, and Methodology (known as the Gray Book), 1988. The Guide’s conceptual framework derives from the System of National Accounts 1993 and the fifth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual(1993). Preparation of the Guide was undertaken by an Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics, chaired by the IMF and involving representatives from the BIS, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the European Central Bank, Eurostat, the OECD, the Paris Club Secretariat, UNCTAD, and the World Bank.
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.