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International Monetary Fund
This paper proposes a new trust fund that would enable the IMF to join international debt relief efforts for Haiti and other low-income countries hit by similar catastrophic disasters. Following the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in Haiti, an international consensus emerged that creditors should consider full debt relief to support Haiti’s recovery. Haiti’s debt to the IMF stands at SDR 178 million.
International Monetary Fund
This technical note for the Republic of Poland on competition and performance explains the Polish pension system and domestic capital market. Competition policies may need to be reviewed, in particular the combination of measures to maintain small pension funds operating while imposing strict caps on fees. If the government decides to continue pursuing policy of promoting competition in returns while reducing fees further, it may need to consider more structural changes in the second pillar, along the lines of the Swedish model.
Mr. Adam Bennett, Mr. Louis Dicks-Mireaux, Mr. Miguel A Savastano, Ms. María Vicenta Carkovic S., Mr. Mauro Mecagni, Ms. Susan M Schadler, and Mr. James A John

Abstract

This paper is part II of a two-volume study conducted as a part of the IMF's ongoing process of evaluating its lending facilities. It focuses on IMF-supported programs and macroeconomic performance during 1988-92, reflecting information available through the end of 1993. Part I (Occasional Paper No. 128) provides an overview of the principal issues and findings and distills the main message for future programs. Part II presents detailed examinations of selected policy issues in five background papers.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

WHAT early warning signals should policymakers heed to avoid a repeat of a Mexico-type reversal of private capital flows? Experience suggests that a combination of indicators can provide powerful hints of approaching problems.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Common issues emerging from the recent experience with IMF-supported programs in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania are analyzed. These comprise the initial price overshooting and output collapse and the financial and structural problems associated with bad loan portfolios and sluggish implementation of privatization programs. Substantial success has been achieved in the initial microstabilization and opening-up effort. But difficulties with fiscal and monetary control may be emerging as a result of social and political pressures and unclear policy signals on the micro issues involving the structural transformation of the productive and financial systems.

Mr. Adam Bennett, Mr. Louis Dicks-Mireaux, Mr. Miguel A Savastano, Ms. María Vicenta Carkovic S., Mr. Mauro Mecagni, Ms. Susan M Schadler, and Mr. James A John

Abstract

The IMF staff periodically carries out reviews of adjustment programs supported by IMF financial resources with the broad aim of evaluating the appropriateness of policies and the progress made toward sustainable economic conditions. The present review, which is part of this process, describes and assesses the design of programs supported during a recent period by the IMF’s stand-by and extended facilities—two windows through which the IMF lends at market-related interest rates subject to conditions that commit countries to implementing agreed-upon adjustment policies (a requirement known as “IMF conditionality”). The specific objectives of this study are to understand the nature and strength of the economic adjustment undertaken, whether adjustment strategies were appropriately tailored to the problems being addressed, and the extent of sustained improvement in macroeconomic performance.

Adam Bennett,, Maria Carkovic,, and Mr. Louis Dicks-Mireaux

Abstract

Unsustainable financial imbalances in the public sector were the source of developments that precipitated the need for IMF support in virtually all the 36 countries with Fund arrangements approved between mid-1988 and mid-1991 (see Chart 1-1). Fiscal adjustment was, therefore, at the heart of every program. Typically, large public sector borrowing requirements had led to combinations of unmanageable external current account deficits, heavy domestic and foreign indebtedness, reliance on arrears, crowding out of private activity, and high inflation. The mix of these consequences in any particular country depended most importantly on the size and duration of the fiscal imbalances and how they were financed.1

Mr. Adam Bennett

Abstract

The ultimate objective for interest rates in IMF-supported programs is to contribute to the allocation of savings according to competitive market principles, free of distortions or market failures. In this ideal situation real interest rates would normally be positive at moderate levels and reflective of underlying market forces such as the return on investments and the marginal utility of deferred consumption. Over short periods, of course, even market-determined interest rates may deviate from these benchmarks because the authorities may have to react to transient pressures in international or domestic capital markets by tightening credit. Moreover, high or time-varying risk premia—not uncommon in countries undertaking adjustment programs—can also cause a departure from these norms.

Mr. Mauro Mecagni

Abstract

Nominal anchors—whether an exchange rate peg or a money supply rule—are widely recognized as an important component of a program to reduce or control inflation, or reinforce discipline in financial policies and wage developments. Therefore, the fact that nominal anchors have not been adopted in every IMF-supported stabilization program, particularly in those designed to lower inflation, may lead to the conjecture that these programs have not placed enough emphasis on the reduction or the containment of inflation. Rather, according to this argument, such programs have been geared toward addressing external crises, in which devaluations may play a major role and credit ceilings designed to achieve ambitious targets for reserve accumulation are favored over money rules.