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Miss Randa Sab
Using narrative-based country-case studies, war episodes in the Middle East were examined to assess their economic impact on conflict and neighboring economies. The paper found that conflicts led to a contraction in growth, higher inflation, large fiscal and current account deficits, loss of reserves, and a weakened financial system. Post-conflict recovery depended on the economic and institutional development of the country, economic structure, duration of the war, international engagement, and prevailing security conditions. The net economic impact on neighboring countries varied according to their initial economic conditions, number and income level of refugees they hosted, economic integration, and external assistance.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluation on International Reserves: IMF Concerns and Country Perspectives was discussed by the Board in December 2012. This evaluation examined the IMF’s analysis of the effect of reserves on the stability of the international monetary system and its advice on reserve adequacy assessments in the context of bilateral surveillance. In the multilateral context, the evaluation acknowledged the IMF’s broader work stream on the international monetary system but noted that this work had not sufficiently informed the analysis and recommendations regarding reserves. The IEO evaluation of The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor was discussed by the Board in February 2013. This evaluation found that perceptions of the IMF had improved, but that they varied markedly by region and country type. Recognizing that there will always be an inherent tension between the IMF’s roles as a global watchdog and as a trusted advisor to member country authorities, the evaluation report explored how the IMF could sustain the more positive image it had achieved in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. The evaluation found that among key challenges facing the IMF were improving the value added and relevance of IMF advice and overcoming the perception of a lack of even-handedness.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues Paper focuses on economic condition, energy subsidies, and oil prices in Jordan. Energy price subsidies pose a serious fiscal risk in the present context of increasing and volatile international prices. The macroeconomic situation in Jordan is closely tied to that of other countries in the Middle East. From a policy perspective, macroeconomic and structural policies in Jordan should be conducted in such a way that the vulnerability of the country to sudden stops or reversals of external income flows is reduced.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) was established by the IMF’s Executive Board in 2001. It provides objective and independent evaluation of issues related to the IMF. The IEO operates independently of IMF management and at arm’s length from the IMF Executive Board. For more information on the IEO’s activities, visit the IEO website: www.ieo-imf.org.

Mr. William E. Alexander, Mr. John Cady, and Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia

Abstract

The Data Dissemination Initiative was launched in the mid-1990s as part of a broader internationally-agreed-upon initiative to strengthen transparency and promote good governance practices by establishing standards and codes. Ten years later, the initiative is viewed as an integral part of the international financial architecture, and is considered to have improved the functioning of international financial markets and contributed to global financial stability. This volume reviews certain aspects of the development of and experience with the initiative over the past decade, and concludes by reflecting on potential challenges ahead and possible enhancements.

Mr. Stanley B Watt, Mr. Donal McGettigan, and Mr. Saade Chami
Jordan has seen a large increase in its international reserve holdings in recent years. While a healthy reserve buffer is needed under a fixed exchange rate regime, determining optimal reserve levels is not straightforward. In this paper, we first use several traditional measures of reserves adequacy to compare Jordan's reserve holdings with other emerging market (EM) countries. Subsequently, we analyze Jordan's reserve holdings using a reserves-optimizing model, based on Jeanne and Ranciere (2006) (J-R), but extended to allow reserve holdings to influence the likelihood of a sudden stop. The overall analysis suggests that Jordan's reserve holdings provide sufficient support to sustain the dinar peg and to deal with the most extreme capital account disruptions.