Among member states, many structural weaknesses were exposed when economic performance declined significantly and financial markets became more discerning. This book focuses on the analytical underpinnings of real-time policy advice given to euro area policymakers during four cycles of the IMF’s annual Article IV consultations (2012–15) with euro area authorities.
Several administrations have adopted electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) in their quest to combat noncompliance, particularly as regards sales and the value-added tax (VAT) payable on sales. The introduction of EFDs typically requires considerable effort and has costs both for the administration and for the taxpayers that are affected by the requirements of the new rules. Despite their widespread use, and their considerable cost, EFDs can only be effective if they are a part of a comprehensive compliance improvement strategy that clearly identifies risks for the different segments of taxpayers and envisages measures to mitigate these risks. EFDs should not be construed as the “silver bullet” for improving tax compliance: as with any other technological improvement the deployment of fiscal devices alone cannot achieve meaningful results, whether in terms of revenue gains or permanent compliance improvements.
Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Mr. Kenneth H Kang, Ms. Yan Liu, and Mr. Dermot Monaghan
The global financial crisis has left a large private sector debt overhang and high levels of non- performing loans (NPLs) in several European countries. Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) represent a significant and weak segment of the nonfinancial corporate sector. SMEs face a number of legal, financial, and regulatory challenges to restructuring that differ from those of larger corporates, such as a rigid and costly insolvency regime, a higher fixed cost to loan restructuring, and the lack of alternative sources of financing. Given SMEs’ large presence and close links to the banking system, addressing the SME loan problem in Europe will be critical for strengthening bank and corporate balance sheets and supporting a more robust and sustained recovery.
The purpose of this paper is to develop a model framework for the analysis of interactions between banking sector risk, sovereign risk, corporate sector risk, real economic activity, and credit growth for 15 European countries and the United States. It is an integrated macroeconomic systemic risk model framework that draws on the advantages of forward-looking contingent claims analysis (CCA) risk indicators for the banking systems in each country, forward-looking CCA risk indicators for sovereigns, and a GVAR model to combine the banking, the sovereign, and the macro sphere. The CCA indicators capture the nonlinearity of changes in bank assets, equity capital, credit spreads, and default probabilities. They capture the expected losses, spreads and default probability for sovereigns. Key to the framework is that sovereign credit spreads, banking system credit risk, corporate sector credit risk, economic growth, and credit variables are combined in a fully endogenous setting. Upon estimation and calibration of the global model, we simulate various negative and positive shock scenarios, particularly to bank and sovereign risk. The goal is to use this framework to analyze the impact and spillover of shocks and to help identify policies that would mitigate banking system, sovereign credit risk and recession risk—policies including bank capital increases, purchase of sovereign debt, and guarantees.
This paper investigates the effects of national culture on firm risk-taking, using a comprehensive dataset covering 50,000 firms in 400 industries in 51 countries. Risk-taking is found to be higher for domestic firms in countries with low uncertainty aversion, low tolerance for hierarchical relationships, and high individualism. Domestic firms in such countries tend to take substantially more risk in industries which are more informationally opaque (e.g. finance, mining, IT). Risk-taking by foreign firms is best explained by the cultural norms of their country of origin. These cultural norms do not proxy for legal constraints, insurance safety nets, or economic development.