International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
The coverage of risks has become more systematic since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC): staff reports now regularly identify major risks and provide an assessment of their likelihood and economic impact, summarized in Risk Assessment Matrices (RAM). But still limited attention is paid to the range of possible outcomes. Also, risk identification is useful only so much as to inform policy design to preemptively respond to relevant risks and/or better prepare for them. In this regard, policy recommendations in surveillance could be richer in considering various risk management approaches. To this end, progress is needed on two dimensions: • Increasing emphasis on the range of potential outcomes to improve policy design. • Encouraging more proactive policy advice on how to manage risks. Efforts should continue to leverage internal and external resources to support risk analysis and advice in surveillance.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note (TN) is a targeted review of cross-cutting themes building on the detailed assessment of the Insurance Core Principles (ICPs) conducted in 2015. The targeted review was chosen, in part, due to the performance of the U.S. insurance regulatory system in the 2015 detailed assessment where it was assessed that the U.S. observed 8 ICPs, largely observed 13 ICPs and partly observed 5 ICPs. The analysis relied on a targeted self-assessment against a subset of ICPs covering valuation and solvency, risk management, conduct, winding-up, corporate governance and enforcement, and the objectives, powers and responsibility of supervisors. The choice of subjects covered in this review is based on those aspects most significant to financial stability and a follow-up on key recommendations from the 2015 detailed assessment. The focus of the analysis has been on the state-based system of regulation and supervision, reflecting the existing institutional setup.
Natural disasters are a source of economic risks in many countries, especially in smaller and lower-income states, and ex-ante preparedness is needed to manage the risks. The paper discusses sovereign experience with disaster insurance as a key instrument to mitigate the risks; proposes ways to judge the adequacy of insurance; and considers ways to enhance its use by vulnerable countries. The paper especially aims to inform policy decisions on disaster insurance. Through simulations of natural disasters and various insurance options, we find that sovereign decisions on optimal risk transfer involve balancing trade-offs between growth and debt, based on government risk preferences and country risk exposure. The choice of optimal insurance for smaller countries turns out to be more constrained by cost considerations due to their higher exposure, likely resulting in underinsurance; donor grants could help them achieve a more optimal protection. We also find that optimal insurance packages are those that are least costly relative to expected payouts (i.e. have the lowest insurance multiple), which are also the packages that insure less severe (more frequent) disasters.
Grenada has made significant strides to counter climate change but meeting the daunting remaining challenges will require domestic policy actions and sustained international support. Climate change is an existential threat to Grenada. Increasing frequency and intensity of coastal storms threatens infrastructure and livelihoods, as do increased risk of coastal flooding and drought. Notably, Hurricane Ivan in 2004 caused damages of over 200 percent of GDP. Grenada has recognized this by placing climate resilience at the center of its policy making and forging strategic alliances with key global climate finance providers. However, the challenges facing the country remain daunting and will require large increases in international support, both financial and technical, to assist the Grenadian authorities turn their impressive resilience plans into action.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses how countries vulnerable to natural disasters can reduce the associated human and economic cost. Building on earlier work by IMF staff, the paper views disaster risk management through the lens of a three-pillar strategy for building structural, financial, and post-disaster (including social) resilience. A coherent disaster resilience strategy, based on a diagnostic of risks and cost-effective responses, can provide a road map for how to tackle disaster related vulnerabilities. It can also help mobilize much-needed support from the international community.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents a quantification of the long-term benefits of ex-ante resilient investment and insurance needs against natural disasters (ND) in Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). Cost-benefit analysis of resilient investment based on a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model tailored to small states and calibrated to all ECCU economies is also discussed in the paper. The model’s aggregate production function illustrates the interaction among the participating sectors and their contribution to output, ultimately informing the role of resilient investment. The study also quantifies government insurance coverage needs and costs using an empirical stochastic model that simulates NDs fiscal costs. The insurance needs are framed within the World Bank insurance layering framework. The results in this paper underscore the importance of a shift from ex-post recovery to a focus on ex-ante resilience building. Ex-ante resilient investment and insurance are key to the welfare and financial sustainability of the ECCU, given high intensity and recurrence of NDs.
Small developing states are disproportionately vulnerable to natural disasters. On average, the annual cost of disasters for small states is nearly 2 percent of GDP—more than four times that for larger countries. This reflects a higher frequency of disasters, adjusted for land area, as well as greater vulnerability to severe disasters. About 9 percent of disasters in small states involve damage of more than 30 percent of GDP, compared to less than 1 percent for larger states. Greater exposure to disasters has important macroeconomic effects on small states, resulting in lower investment, lower GDP per capita, higher poverty, and a more volatile revenue base.
This paper reviews the literature on the macroeconomic impact of natural disasters and presents the IMF’s role in assisting countries coping with natural catastrophes. Focusing on seven country cases, the paper describes the emergency financing, policy support, and technical assistance provided by the Fund to help governments put together a policy response or build a macro framework to lay the foundation for recovery and/or unlock other external financing. The literature and experience suggests there are ways to strengthen policy frameworks to increase resilience to natural disaster shocks, including identifying the risks and probability of natural disasters and integrating them more explicitly into macro frame-works, increasing flexibility within fiscal frameworks, and improving coordination amongst international partners ex post and ex ante.
The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) countries’ economies are heavily dependent on the United States for foreign direct investment, mainly in the tourism sector. The Selected Issues paper discusses economic development and policies of the ECCU. About one-third of the stayover tourists to the ECCU countries are from the United States., the top tourist-source country. The flow of remittances is also an important channel of influence, reflecting the significant proportion of Caribbean migrants living in the United States.
This paper suggests that it is essential to save a substantial portion of mineral revenues now to ensure fiscal sustainability for a post-diamond period. Taking the non-mineral primary balance into account can help clarify desirable fiscal policies. Botswana’s real effective exchange rate is broadly in line with economic fundamentals and consistent with external sustainability, indicating no threat to external stability. Export performance and other indicators suggest a number of structural competitiveness obstacles that could explain the low labor productivity and poor export and export diversification outcomes.