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Kay Chung and Mr. Michael G. Papaioannou
This paper analyzes the effects of including collective action clauses (CACs) and enhanced CACs in international (nondomestic law-governed) sovereign bonds on sovereigns’ borrowing costs, using secondary-market bond yield spreads. Our findings indicate that inclusion of enhanced CACs, introduced in August 2014, is associated with lower borrowing costs for both noninvestment-grade and investment-grade issuers. These results suggest that market participants do not associate the use of CACs and enhanced CACs with borrowers’ moral hazard, but instead consider their implied benefits of an orderly and efficient debt resolution process in case of restructuring.
Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

“The IMF’s Role in the Prevention and Resolution of Sovereign Debt Crises” provides a guided narrative to the IMF’s policy papers on sovereign debt produced over the last 40 years. The papers are divided into chapters, tracking four historical phases: the 1980s debt crisis; the Mexican crisis and the design of policies to ensure adequate private sector involvement (“creditor bail-in”); the Argentine crisis and the search for a durable crisis resolution framework; and finally, the global financial crisis, the Eurozone crisis, and their aftermaths.

International Monetary Fund
endorsed in October 2014 the inclusion of key features of enhanced pari passu provisions and collective action clauses (CACs) in new international sovereign bonds. Specifically, the Executive Board endorsed the use of (i) a modified pari passu provision that explicitly excludes the obligation to effect ratable payments, and (ii) an enhanced CAC with a menu of voting procedures, including a “single-limb” aggregated voting procedure that enables bonds to be restructured on the basis of a single vote across all affected instruments, a two-limb aggregated voting procedure, and a series-by-series voting procedure. Directors supported an active role for the IMF in promoting the inclusion of these clauses in international sovereign bonds. The IMFC and the G20 further called on the IMF to promote the use of such clauses and report on their inclusion. In September 2015, the IMF published a progress report on the inclusion of the enhanced clauses in international sovereign bonds as of end-July 2015. The report found that since the Executive Board’s endorsement, substantial progress had been made in incorporating the enhanced clauses: 41 issuances, representing 60 percent of the nominal principal amount of total issuances, had included the enhanced clauses as of July 31, 2015. The 2015 paper also provided initial observations on the patterns of incorporation, the market impact of inclusion of the enhanced clauses, and an update on the outstanding stock of international sovereign bonds. This paper provides a further update on the inclusion of the enhanced clauses and on the outstanding stock of international sovereign bonds as of October 31, 2016. Section II reports on the inclusion of these enhanced provisions, finding that uptake of the clauses has continued, with only a small minority of new issuances not including them. Section III provides an update on the outstanding stock, which reveals that while an increasing percentage of the outstanding stock includes enhanced clauses, a significant percentage of the stock still does not. Section IV reports on the use of different bond structures, and Section V describes the staff’s ongoing outreach efforts. Section VI briefly reports on other recent developments relevant to the contractual approach to sovereign debt restructuring and Section VII concludes with next steps.
International Monetary Fund
In discussing the June 2014 paper, Executive Directors broadly supported staff’s proposal to introduce more flexibility into the Fund’s exceptional access framework to reduce unnecessary costs for the member, its creditors, and the overall system. Directors’ views varied on staff’s proposal to eliminate the systemic exemption introduced in 2010. Many Directors favored removing the exemption but some others preferred to retain it and requested staff to consult further with relevant stakeholders on possible approaches to managing contagion. This paper offers specific proposals on how the Fund’s policy framework could be changed, presents staff’s analysis on the specific issue of managing contagion, and addresses some implementation issues. No Board decision is proposed at this stage. The paper is consistent with the Executive Board’s May 2013 endorsement of a work program focused on strengthening market-based approaches to resolving sovereign debt crises.
Mr. Marco Committeri and Francesco Spadafora
We review the impact of the global financial crisis, and its spillovers into the sovereign sector of the euro area, on the international “rules of the game” for dealing with sovereign debt crises. These rules rest on two main pillars. The most important is the IMF’s lending framework (policies, financing facilities, and financial resources), which is designed to support macroeconomic adjustment packages based on the key notion of public debt sustainability. The complementary pillar is represented by such contractual provisions as Collective Action Clauses (CACs) in sovereign bonds, which aim to facilitate coordination among private creditors in order to contain the costs of a debt default or restructuring. We analyze the most significant changes (and their consequences) prompted by the recent crises to the Fund’s lending framework, not only in terms of additional financial resources, new financing facilities (including precautionary ones), and cooperation with euro-area institutions, but also as regards the criteria governing exceptional access to the Fund’s financial resources. We highlight a crucial innovation to these criteria, namely that, for the first time, they now explicitly take account of the risk of international systemic spillovers. Finally, we discuss how the recent crises have provided new political support for a broader dissemination of CACs in euro-area sovereign bonds. Importantly, in the first case involving an advanced economy, CACs were activated in the debt exchange undertaken by Greece in Spring 2012.
International Monetary Fund
In this study, economic recovery and growth of Macedonia are discussed. In the financial sector, nonperforming loans (NPLs) rose, and bank profitability declined as a result of the crisis. Executive Directors agreed with the thrust of the staff appraisal. Directors were encouraged by the overall healthy condition of the financial system. The need to accelerate structural reforms and strengthen public infrastructure to raise productivity and help reduce high unemployment is encouraged. Macedonia met the Precautionary Credit Line (PCL) qualification requirements.
Mr. Anthony J. Richards
This paper examines the evidence for the common assertion that the volatility of emerging stock markets has increased as a result of the liberalization of markets. A range of measures suggests that there has been no generalized increase in volatility in recent years; indeed, it appears that volatility may have tended to fall rather than rise on average. The paper also tests for the predictability of long-horizon returns in emerging markets. While there is evidence for positive autocorrelation in returns at horizons of one or two quarters, the autocorrelations appear to turn negative at horizons of a year or more. However, the magnitude of the apparent return reversals is not that much larger than reversals in some mature markets. One interpretation of the results would be that emerging markets have not consistently been subject to fads or bubbles, or at least no more so than in some industrial countries. In general, the liberalization and broadening of emerging markets should lead to a reduction in return volatility as risk is spread among a larger number of investors.
Mr. Manuel Guitián

Abstract

Economic interdependence offers the potential for raising global welfare, but there is a fuzzy boundary between national interests and global objectives in the economic policy area. This paper examines the boundary area. It concludes that all international economic regimes must entail a mix of rules and discretion, and it considers the most appropriate weights to be given to rules and discretion.