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International Monetary Fund
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, uncertainty remains exceptionally high. The Fund has provided extraordinary financial support as well as timely analysis and policy advice during the first phase of the crisis, but additional efforts are needed to help members secure a durable exit, minimize long-term scarring, and build a more sustainable and resilient economy. Against this backdrop, and in line with the strategic directions laid out in the Fall 2020 Global Policy Agenda and the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) Communiqué, this Work Program puts forward a prioritized Board agenda for December 2020 to June 2021, focused on activities of most critical importance to our members.
Samba Mbaye, Ms. Marialuz Moreno Badia, and Kyungla Chae
This paper documents a form of private sector bailout that is much more common (and yet unnoticed) than the typical bank bailout. Building on the newly-created Global Debt Database, we show that excess private debt systematically turns into higher public debt, regardless of whether the credit boom resulted in a crisis or a more orderly deleveraging process. This debt migration operates mainly through growth rather than explicit bailouts: private deleveraging weighs on activity, prompting a countercyclical government response to support economic activity. Ultimately, whether this debt substitution results in a net increase or a net decline of overall indebtedness in the economy depends on the extent of the growth slowdown during the deleveraging spell. These findings suggest that markets and policymakers should move away from looking at private and sovereign debt in silos and pay closer attention to the total stock of debt in the economy, as the line between the two tends to become blurry.