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William Arrata, Benoit Nguyen, Imene Rahmouni-Rousseau, and Miklos Vari
Most short-term interest rates in the Euro area are below the European Central Bank deposit facility rate, the rate at which the central bank remunerates banks’ excess reserves. This unexpected development coincided with the start of the Public Sector Purchase Program (PSPP). In this paper, we explore empirically the interactions between the PSPP and repo rates. We document different channels through which asset purchases may affect them. Using proprietary data from PSPP purchases and repo transactions for specific (“special") securities, we assess the scarcity channel of PSPP and its impact on repo rates. We estimate that purchasing 1 percent of a bond outstanding is associated with a decline of its repo rate of 0.78 bps. Using an instrumental variable, we find that the full effect may be up to six times higher.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues Paper focuses on economic condition, energy subsidies, and oil prices in Jordan. Energy price subsidies pose a serious fiscal risk in the present context of increasing and volatile international prices. The macroeconomic situation in Jordan is closely tied to that of other countries in the Middle East. From a policy perspective, macroeconomic and structural policies in Jordan should be conducted in such a way that the vulnerability of the country to sudden stops or reversals of external income flows is reduced.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The global crisis is now affecting the countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region, and economic and financial vulnerabilities are rising. In the Middle East and North Africa, good economic fundamentals, appropriate policy responses, and sizable currency reserves are helping mitigate the impact of the shock. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, lower commodity prices and adverse economic developments in Russia have hit hard. The report notes that countries should prepare for the contingency of a prolonged global slowdown by supporting domestic demand for a longer period and strengthening financial systems further. In some countries with rising unemployment, it will be important to target government resources and policies on protecting the poor; in others, increased donor support will be necessary to maintain needed economic development.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper surveys the foreign exchange markets, money and secondary government security markets, and stock exchanges in 107 smaller economy countries. The underdevelopment of these markets impedes risk transfer, monetary policy, corporate financing, and the capacity to absorb capital inflows. This study marks a first step toward formulating policies to develop essential smaller economy financial markets by documenting the stylized facts and presenting a framework for assessing the policy issues.

Mr. Steven A Barnett, Dale Chua, Ms. Nur Calika, Mr. Oussama Kanaan, and Milan Zavadjil

Abstract

The economy of the West Bank and Gaza Strip faces a difficult external environment in 1997. This paper, by Steven Barnett, Nur Calika, Dale Chua, Oussama Kanaan, and Milan Zavadijil, presents an assessment of the recent experience of the Palestinian economy and examines prospects for 1998 and beyond.

Ahsan S. Mansur and Mr. Edouard Maciejewski

Abstract

The paper analyzes the major progress Jordan has made in recent years in macroeconomic stabilization and the transformation of its economic structure. It discusses recent economic developments, macroeconomic policies, and structural reforms and examines the factors underpinning growth, including structural reforms in key areas such as public finance, the financial system, the trade and exchange regime, Jordan's external debt-management strategy, and the dynamics of the public debt and its sustainability.