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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.

Mr. Marc G Quintyn and Mr. David S. Hoelscher

Abstract

Recent financial sector crises and their resolution have raised new issues and provided additional experiences to draw on in the future. Banking sector problems in Russia, Turkey, and a few Latin American countries occurred within the context of highly dollarized economies, high levels of sovereign debt, severely limited fiscal resources, or combinations thereof. These factors have challenged the effectiveness of many of the typical tools for bank resolution. This publication focuses on the issues raised in systemic crises, not on the resolution of individual bank problems. Based on the lessons learned during the Asian crisis, it updates the IMF’s work on the general principles, strategies, and techniques for managing these crises.

Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Kenneth Rogoff, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

This study provides a candid, systematic, and critical review of recent evidence on this complex subject. Based on a review of the literature and some new empirical evidence, it finds that (1) in spite of an apparently strong theoretical presumption, it is difficult to detect a strong and robust causal relationship between financial integration and economic growth; (2) contrary to theoretical predictions, financial integration appears to be associated with increases in consumption volatility (both in absolute terms and relative to income volatility) in many developing countries; and (3) there appear to be threshold effects in both of these relationships, which may be related to absorptive capacity. Some recent evidence suggests that sound macroeconomic frameworks and, in particular, good governance are both quantitatively and qualitatively important in affecting developing countries’ experiences with financial globalization.

Mr. Marc G Quintyn and Mr. David S. Hoelscher

Abstract

Recent financial sector crises and their resolution have raised new issues and provided additional experiences to draw on in the future. Banking sector problems in Russia, Turkey, and a few Latin American countries occurred within the context of highly dollarized economies, high levels of sovereign debt, severely limited fiscal resources, or combinations thereof. These factors have challenged the effectiveness of many of the typical tools for bank resolution. This publication focuses on the issues raised in systemic crises, not on the resolution of individual bank problems. Based on the lessons learned during the Asian crisis, it updates the IMF’s work on the general principles, strategies, and techniques for managing these crises.

Mr. Richard Hemming, Mr. Axel Schimmelpfennig, and Mr. Michael Kell

Abstract

Fiscal problems have long been considered a central feature of financial--that is, currency, debt, and banking--crises. This paper addresses four questions: What are the fiscal causes of crises? Which fiscal vulnerability indicators help to predict crises? Can fiscal variables explain the severity of crises? And what are the fiscal consequences of crises? Its findings are based on statistical analysis of a large data set of fiscal variables for 29 emerging market economies over 1970-2000 and detailed case studies of 11 emerging market crises during the 1990s that focus on structural and institutional dimensions of fiscal vulnerability.

Mr. Ales Bulir, Mrs. Marianne Schulze-Gattas, Mr. Atish R. Ghosh, Mr. Alex Mourmouras, Mr. A. J Hamann, and Mr. Timothy D. Lane

Abstract

This paper reviews the design of and experience with IMF-supported programs formulated in response to capital account crises in the 1990s, focusing on the experiences of eight countries: Turkey (1994), Mexico (1995), Argentina (1995), Thailand (1997), Indonesia (1997), Korea (1997), the Philippines (1997), and Brazil (1998). The capital account crises in emerging markets confronted both the affected countries and the IMF with a new set of challenges. The central feature of all these crises was the rapid reversal of capital inflows, bringing about a large and abrupt current account adjustment with pervasive macroeconomic consequences. The crises were characterized by an over-adjustment of external current accounts in relation to what was needed for any reasonable means of sustainability. This over-adjustment was associated with severe macroeconomic disruptions. Beyond the importance of crisis prevention, the experience of these countries suggests a number of lessons for program design in the context of high capital mobility—such as the appropriate roles for monetary, fiscal, and structural policies.

Mr. Yougesh Khatri, Mr. Il Houng Lee, Mrs. O. Liu, Ms. Kanitta Meesook, and Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa

Abstract

This paper discusses how Malaysia can better protect itself from future shocks and avoid another crisis while it seeks to regain its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. To these ends, its strategy should include continued structural reforms to achieve healthy balance sheets of the banking and corporate sectors; further deregulation to promote competition and efficiency; and consistent macroeconomic policies to maintain financial stability and sustainable fiscal and external positions. Malaysia's economic structure and performance were relatively strong prior to the crisis. Malaysia’s initial low level of short-term external debt enabled it to maintain foreign reserves at a reasonably high level, and this contributed to relatively robust external and domestic confidence early on in the crisis. As a consequence of financial vigilance exercised through prudential regulation of capital movements, the exposure of the financial and corporate systems was contained. Stock market capitalization in Malaysia grew to an extremely high level prior to the crisis, reflecting both the fast expansion of the capital market and liberal capital account regime.

Mr. Akira Ariyoshi, Mr. Andrei A Kirilenko, Ms. Inci Ötker, Mr. Bernard J Laurens, Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, and Mr. Karl F Habermeier

Abstract

This paper examines country experiences with the use and liberalization of capital controls to develop a deeper understanding of the role of capital controls in coping with volatile capital flows, as well as the issues surrounding their liberalization. Detailed analyses of country cases aim to shed light on the motivations to limit capital flows; the role the controls may have played in coping with particular situations, including in financial crises and in limiting short-term inflows; the nature and design of the controls; and their effectivenes and potential costs. The paper also examines the link between prudential policies and capital controls and illstrates the ways in which better prudential practices and accelerated financial reforms could address the risks in cross-border capital transactions.

Mr. Markus Rodlauer

Abstract

This Occasional Paper discusses the policies behind the favorable economic performance of the Philippines during the 1990s, when it emerged from a long period of slow growth and economic imbalances and managed to escape the "Asian crisis" relatively unscathed. The Philippines recent experience suggests valuable lessons for emerging economies' efforts at crisis prevention and management, as well as for the country's own policy choices. This paper describes this experience, focusing on the elements behind the relatively strong performance as well as the remaining reform agenda.

Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Mr. Andrew Berg, Mr. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti, and Mr. Eduardo Borensztein

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed an increase in the frequency of currency and balance of payments crises in developing countries. More important, the crises have become more virulent, have caused widespread disruption to other developing countries, and have even had repercussions on advanced economies. To predict crises, their causes must be clearly understood. Two competing strands of theories are reviewed in this paper. The first focuses on the consequences of such policies as excessive credit growth in provoking depletion of foreign exchange reserves and making a devaluation enevitable. The second emphasizes the trade-offs between internal and external balance that the policymaker faces in defending a peg.