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Ms. Anja Baum, Paulo Medas, Alberto Soler, and Mouhamadou Sy
Ensuring that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are efficient and managed prudently is important for economic and social reasons. It is also crucial to contain fiscal risks and reduce the burden on taxpayers from recurrent and large bailouts. Governments need to develop stronger capacity to monitor and mitigate the risks from SOEs. We present a risk tool to benchmark the performance of SOEs relative to their peers and assess their vulnerabilities, including through stress tests. A strategy to mitigate risks requires the right incentives for managers to perform and for government agencies to conduct effective oversight. Incorporating SOEs in overall fiscal targets would promote greater fiscal discipline and transparency.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that after three years of robust expansion, the economy of the Dominican Republic moderated to close to its potential level. Economic activity is estimated to have expanded by 4.6 percent in 2017, following above-potential growth of 7.1 percent on average during 2014–16. The growth moderation was concentrated in the first three quarters of 2017. The economic outlook remains positive. The monetary easing in mid-2017 is expected to support a continued recovery in economic activity in 2018. Lower lending rates and stronger credit growth following the easing, combined with higher real wages and employment, are expected to continue to support domestic demand.
Ms. Svetlana Cerovic and Jose Saboin
This paper examines the financial position of the key sectors of the Dominican Republic. It contributes to macroeconomic surveillance by identifying financial interlinkages and vulnerabilities through the balance sheet approach. The balance sheet of the economy has been weakening, particularly in foreign currency, due to persistent fiscal deficits. Risks arising from weaker foreign currency position, however, seem to be mitigated by long-term maturities on government debt and increasing accumulation of foreign currency assets. Given the strong links of the rest of the economy with the public sector, network analysis suggests that while the financial position of the other sectors of the economy is stronger, they could be adversely affected in an external stress scenario. Exposures to public sector are particularly pronounced in the domestic financial system (directly) and households (indirectly, through pension funds).
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
KEY ISSUES Context. Colombia’s economic performance has been robust, underpinned by a very strong policy framework. Last year, real GDP grew by 4.3 percent, with low inflation. The country has a strong external position; the financial system is sound; and fiscal policy remains guided by a structural fiscal balance rule. The authorities intend to undertake an ambitious infrastructure program to be executed through public-private partnerships. Outlook and risks. Real GDP growth is projected to converge to potential (about 4½ percent) in 2014, with inflation remaining within the 2–4 percent target range. The medium-term outlook is favorable, but risks are tilted to the downside. Colombia’s important and growing ties with the global economy expose the economy to external risks. The most important sources of risk are a decline in oil prices, a deterioration in global financial conditions, and volatility from the normalization of monetary policy in the U.S. Near-term policy mix. The current policy mix is broadly adequate. As the ongoing economic recovery takes hold, monetary and fiscal policies are expected to shift to a more neutral stance. Colombia continues to rely on a flexible exchange rate to absorb external shocks. The authorities are also taking advantage of abundant foreign inflows, primarily foreign direct investment, to strengthen their international reserve buffer. Medium-term challenges. Colombia’s key challenge is to sustain strong and inclusive growth with macroeconomic stability. To this purpose, it will be important to: (i) adhere to the fiscal consolidation plan, supporting it with revenue mobilization; (ii) address the infrastructure gap, without increasing fiscal risks; (iii) enhance the social security system by increasing coverage and improving equity, and containing health care costs; (iv) address remaining weaknesses in financial sector supervision; and (v) foster financial inclusion.
Charles Amo Yartey
This paper uses the balance sheet approach to analyze macroeconomic vulnerabilities in Barbados between 2006 and 2009. It discusses the financial position of the economy and its main sectors and the sectors' exposure to changes in exchange rates. The main finding of the analysis is that the balance sheet of the aggregate economy has been weakened by the recent deterioration in the balance sheet of the nonfinancial public sector. Macroeconomic vulnerabilities have increased in Barbados since 2006 due to the high public debt and the deterioration in the net financial position with nonresidents. The private sector, however, maintained a healthy position and seems resilient to shocks. The paper also finds the balance sheet of the nonfinancial public sector has deteriorated significantly reflecting weak fiscal performance. While the central government is highly vulnerable to exchange rate shock, debt rollover risks are likely to be limited since most of external liabilities are long term and most domestic liabilities are held by the National Insurance System.
International Monetary Fund
This Technical Note focuses on banking sector structure in Germany. Germany’s banking system comprises three “pillars”—private commercial banks, public sector banks, and cooperative banks—distinguished by the ownership structure and business orientation. The German banking system includes a large number of institutions in both absolute and relative terms. This note describes the evolution of Germany’s three-pillar banking system. It analyzes capitalization, credit and the intermediation of savings, and bank profitability and efficiency. It also examines the benefits of public involvement and governance in the banking system.
Mr. Marc G Quintyn, Ms. Rosaria Vega Pansini, and Donato Masciandaro
The Asian financial crisis marked the beginning of worldwide efforts to improve the effectiveness of financial supervision. However, the crisis that started in 2007?08 was a crude awakening: several of these improvements seemed unable to avoid or mitigate the crisis. This paper brings the first systematic analysis of the role of two of these efforts - modifications in the architecture of financial supervision and in supervisory governance - and concludes that they were negatively correlated with economic resilience. Using the emerging distinction between macro- and micro-prudential supervision, we explore to what extent two separate institutions would allow for more checks and balances to improve supervisory governance and, thus, reduce the probability of supervisory failure.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper discusses about the fact that longer the recognition problems persist, the greater the risk of continued “active inertia” and disappointing outcomes. The possibility of policy mistakes and business accidents will increase further, it will become harder for industrial country governments to convince their citizenry (as well as decision makers in emerging economies) to participate fully in the formulation and implementation of the required solutions, and multilateral institutions will not be able to fill the growing void at the core of the international system. The innovative financial instruments were potent in lowering barriers to entry to many markets, including important segments of the US housing market. As a result, too many households purchased homes that they could not afford, using exotic mortgages they did not fully understand, and too many small companies took on debt they could not sustain. Prior to the crisis, key industrial countries had embarked upon a multiyear, serial contamination of balance sheets.

International Monetary Fund
The U.K. economy is on the mend, but crisis-related scars still need healing. The challenge ahead will be to ensure sustainable recovery and balance sheet repair while remaining flexible to respond to shocks. A highly accommodative monetary stance is required to offset the contractionary impulse from fiscal policy and keep inflation close to target. Risks to this scenario are substantial, and policies will need to adapt if they materialize. The government should continue to fortify fiscal institutions. Efforts should continue to strengthen financial sector health.
International Monetary Fund
This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Paraguayan economy performed very well over the past five years, with real GDP growth averaging about 5 percent a year—the best in a generation. The fiscal position strengthened considerably, thereby reducing public debt sharply to relatively low levels. The economy grew by nearly 6 percent in 2008, but growth decelerated in the last quarter of the year. Paraguay’s macroeconomic outlook has also been negatively affected by the deterioration in the global environment.