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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance report on Bulgaria reviews the formalization and implementation of a comprehensive Supervisory and Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) that includes an explicit and detailed supervisory Pillar 2 capital requirement. The paper highlights that unsound banking practices or regulatory breaches cannot be compensated by complementary capital charges. Loan loss provisions and capital charges for loans created as a result of such practices cannot be created and judged on the basis of the common standards. Banking Supervision Department has developed a methodology for the combined risk assessment and subsequent definition of an additional capital requirement for credit risk. Individual outcomes of the top-down stress tests carried out by the Macroprudential Supervision and Financial Stability Directorate can make a valuable contribution to the SREP. It allows the assessment of the quality of internal control in the institution and its capacity to timely produce complete and reliable data. While capital positions globally are adequate, and soundness indicators have improved, partly as a result of the 2016 Asset Quality Review, nonperforming loans remain high in Bulgaria, with notable differences between the banks.
International Monetary Fund
This report responds to the February 2016 request from the G20 for the IMF, OECD, United Nations and World Bank Group to: “…recommend mechanisms to help ensure effective implementation of technical assistance programs, and recommend how countries can contribute funding for tax projects and direct technical assistance, and report back with recommendations at our July meeting.” The report has been prepared in the framework of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (the “PCT”), under the responsibility of the Secretariats and Staff of the four mandated organizations. The report reflects a broad consensus among these staff, but should not be regarded as the officially endorsed views of those organizations or of their member countries.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses key findings and recommendations of the Detailed Assessment of Observance on the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision on Bulgaria. Within the Banking Supervision Department, the Special Supervision Directorate (SSD) has been assigned multiple activities that go beyond its primary objective of ensuring integrity in the banking sector. The Bulgarian National Bank is not empowered to require a bank to change its internal organization or structure. It is recommended to refocus the activity of the SSD on its core mandate of financial integrity. This recommendation can be achieved by assigning nonsupervisory activities to other Directorates, preferably outside the Banking Supervision Department.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For policymakers around the world, finding ways to promote faster growth is a top priority. But what exactly do economists know and not know about growth? What direction should future research and policymaking take? This issue explores this topic, starting with a major World Bank study and research coming out of Harvard University that urges less reliance on simple formulas and the elusive search for best practices, and greater reliance on deeper economic analysis to identify each country's binding constraint(s) on growth. Other articles highlight IMF research on pinpointing effective levers for growth in developing countries and Africa's experience with growth accelerations. Also in the issue are pieces examining global economic imbalances, rapid credit growth in Eastern and Central Europe, and ways to boost productivity growth in Europe and Japan. In Straight Talk, Raghuram Rajan argues that if we want microfinance to become more than a fad, it has to follow the clear and unsentimental path of adding value and making money. Asian Development bank's Haruhiko Kuroda sets out his vision for a new financial architecture in Asia. Finally, Picture This takes an in-depth look at global employment trends.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes the reasons behind the relatively low rates of savings in Bulgaria and prospects for their evolution over the medium term. The paper argues that low saving rates largely reflect the current stage of transition—characterized by still low income levels, incomplete structural reforms, the memories of the financial and banking crises of 1996–97, and an adverse demographic structure. An analysis of prospective saving rates indicates that as the transition process advances, saving rates may increase by 5 percentage points over the medium term.
Mr. Gérard Bélanger
The paper analyzes the decline of tax revenue/GDP ratios in transition economies of central and eastern Europe. The paper separates the effect on revenues of discretionary policy actions and finds that endogenous factors, notably the collapse of underlying profits and declining effective tax rates, were the main source of falling tax revenue/GDP ratios. Underlying factors are analyzed to provide a basis to discuss the outlook for tax revenues in coming years.
Mr. Vito Tanzi

Abstract

The collapse of central economic planning in many countries and the breakup of the Soviet Union have put into disarray systems of government revenues and expenditures in those countries. This collection of 16 papers, edited by Vito Tanzi, analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of fiscal policies under the old system of central planning and suggests ways to revitalize those policies in the newly emerging market economies.

Mr. George Kopits
Most European economies in transition are engaged in public sector reform aimed mainly at replacing the previous fiscal system subordinated to the central plan with a system where fiscal instruments can make a distinct contribution to stabilization, equity, and efficiency. This paper examines past progress and future tasks in major reform areas: taxation, subsidies, social security, public investment, public enterprises, government debt, and intergovernmental relations. An overview of the fiscal reform process suggests that the contraction and restructuring of government operations are not likely to materialize soon and that there is a serious risk of widening fiscal imbalances during the transition.
Mr. Vito Tanzi
The transition from a command to a market economy requires profound reforms of the tax system. Such a transition will put downward pressures on the level of taxation at a time when public expenditure remains high. This paper outlines the main characteristics of the tax systems in centrally-planned economies. It describes recent changes in those tax systems. Finally, it discusses the major difficulties that will be faced, and the errors that must be avoided, during the transition.