Over the past two decades, Mexico has hedged oil price risk through the purchase of put
options. We examine the resulting welfare gains using a standard sovereign default model
calibrated to Mexican data. We show that hedging increases welfare by reducing income
volatility and reducing risk spreads on sovereign debt. We find welfare gains equivalent to
a permanent increase in consumption of 0.44 percent with 90 percent of these gains
stemming from lower risk spreads.
This paper reviews the adequacy of the Fund’s precautionary balances, using the framework approved by the Board in 2010. The review takes place on the standard two-year cycle and assesses developments since the last review in 2016.
This paper reviews the adequacy of the Fund’s precautionary balances, using the framework approved by the Board in 2010. The review takes place on the standard two-year cycle. The paper discusses developments since the last review in 2014 and revisits several issues discussed at that time.
The framework provides an indicative range for the target for precautionary balances linked to credit outstanding, and allows for judgment in setting this target. A reserve coverage ratio of 20-30 percent draws on approaches in other IFIs, adapted to the circumstances of the Fund, and is a guide for determining the target. At the same time, Directors have emphasized the continued importance of judgment and Board discretion in light of a broad assessment of financial risks facing the Fund.
Scope and strategy: This paper reviews access limits and surcharge policies in the Fund’s General Resources Account (GRA). It builds on the preliminary Executive Board discussion that took place in May 2014, against the backdrop of the 14th Review quotas expected to become effective early in 2016, which will on average double individual members’ quotas. At the meeting in 2014, most Directors considered that a moderate increase in normal access limits in SDR terms would broadly restore the normal Fund access to levels considered acceptable in 2009, and saw merit in adjusting the surcharge threshold to allow for a moderate increase in the SDR value of credit not subject to the charge.
This paper examines the distributional impact of capital account liberalization. Using panel data for 149 countries from 1970 to 2010, we find that, on average, capital account liberalization reforms increase inequality and reduce the labor share of income in the short and medium term. We also find that the level of financial development and the occurrence of crises play a key role in shaping the response of inequality to capital account liberalization reforms.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper examines the stress testing module of the 2013 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) update for Canada. The IMF report highlights the three major segments of the domestic financial covered during the stress tests. The bank solvency stress tests suggest that while all banks would fall below the Canadian “all-in” Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) supervisory threshold during severe economic distress, the resulting recapitalization needs are manageable. This IMF report provides recommendations for the Canadian authorities, derived from this joint exercise, to enhance the individual components of their stress testing framework.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyses Paraguay’s effective interest spreads using various methodologies. Interest rate spreads in Paraguay continue to be some of the highest in Latin America. A series of bank crises in the late 1990s and early 2000s weakened the financial system and pushed up spreads. The analysis suggests that operational costs, rising profits, and the need to cover credit and liquidity risks are the main factors behind Paraguay’s effective spreads. Improving data quality and mechanisms for sharing credit information could contribute to reduced spreads. Although the empirical results suggested that banking concentration has not given rise to greater spreads, adding new banking entrants may lower margins by increasing competition within the sector.
This paper reviews the adequacy of the Fund’s precautionary balances, using the framework approved by the Board in 2010. The review takes place on a standard two year cycle. The paper discusses developments since the last review in 2012 and revisits several issues relating to the assessment of reserve adequacy that were discussed at that time.
Rules of thumb can be useful in undertaking quick, robust, and readily interpretable bank stress tests. Such rules of thumb are proposed for the behavior of banks’ capital ratios and key drivers thereof—primarily credit losses, income, credit growth, and risk weights—in advanced and emerging economies, under more or less severe stress conditions. The proposed rules imply disproportionate responses to large shocks, and can be used to quantify the cyclical behaviour of capital ratios under various regulatory approaches.