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.
Nicoletta Batini, Francesco Lamperti, and Andrea Roventini
The COVID-19 lockdowns have brought about the need of large fiscal responses in all European countries. However, countries across Europe are differently equipped to respond to the shock due to differences in economic conditions and fiscal space. We build on the model by Berger et al. (2019) to compare gains from alternative mechanisms of EU fiscal integration in the presence of moral hazard. We show that any EU response strategy to the COVID-19 crisis excluding mutual financial support to member countries lacks credibility. Some form of fiscal risk sharing is indeed better than none, especially in presence of increasing sovereign default risk of some EU member countries. The moral hazard created by risk sharing can be hedged by introducing some form of fiscal delegation to Brussels. The desirable level of delegation, however, depends on its costs. When these are low, risk sharing and delegation are substitutes and it is optimal to opt for high delegation and low risk sharing. On the contrary, when delegation costs are high, centralization and risk sharing are complements and both are needed. Proposed arrangements at the EU level in response to the COVID-19 shock seem to reflect these basic insights by rotating around a combination of fiscal risk sharing and delegation in the form of fiscal spending conditionality.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Italian financial safety net and crisis-management framework has been substantially strengthened since the 2013 FSAP. Among others, the authorities have enhanced the early intervention framework, introduced a new resolution regime (including recovery and resolution planning requirements), and introduced reforms of the two deposit guarantee schemes (DGS) that are active in Italy. Further enhancements at the Banking Union level, as outlined in the 2018 Financial System Stability Assessment for the euro area (IMF Country Report No. 18/226)—including the introduction of an adequately funded common deposit guarantee scheme, a harmonized bank liquidation framework and a finetuning of state aid rules—would yield further benefits for Italy.