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Mr. Christian B. Mulder, Phil De Imus, Ms. L. Effie Psalida, Jeanne Gobat, Mr. R. B. Johnston, Mr. Mangal Goswami, and Mr. Francisco F. Vazquez

This paper outlines some of the key information gaps in the information used in the assessment of financial institution and financial system stability and the priorities for filling them. Key areas for attention include the granularity of disclosures on exposures by large and complex financial institutions; disclosures and assessments of complex structured products; revamping of indicators used in financial stability analysis to focus on indicators with greater early warning content; and improving transparency in over-the-counter derivatives markets. Recommendations have been made by several institutions and forums to address gaps in information that contributed to the crisis. One of the key recommendations is to adopt good practices for disclosures by banks on activities affected by the financial turmoil, including meaningful information on exposures and impacts, with appropriate levels of granularity. It is imperative to strengthen public disclosure practices of systemically important financial institutions by making reporting information more granular and consist.

Thomas Laryea

This paper starts from a discussion of the economic case for moderated government intervention in debt restructuring in the nonfinancial corporate sector. It then draws on lessons from past crises to explain three broad approaches that have been applied to corporate debt restructurings in the aftermath of a crisis. From there, it addresses challenges in designing and implementing a comprehensive debt restructuring strategy and draws together some key principles.

Mr. Steven A. Symansky and Mr. Thomas Baunsgaard

This paper discusses how to enhance automatic stabilizers without increasing the size of government. We distinguish between permanent changes in the parameters of the tax and expenditure system (e.g., changes in tax progressivity) that will enhance the traditional automatic stabilizer, and temporary changes triggered by certain economic developments (e.g., tax measures targeted at credit and liquidity constrained households, triggered during a severe downturn). We argue that, with some exceptions, the latter are preferable as they can be implemented with lower disruptions in other fiscal policy goals (e.g., economic efficiency). Moreover, countries should also avoid introducing procyclicality as a result of fiscal rules, as these would offset the effect of existing automatic stabilizers.

Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Atish R. Ghosh, Mr. Karl F Habermeier, Mr. Marcos d Chamon, Miss Mahvash S Qureshi, and Dennis B. S. Reinhardt

With the global economy beginning to emerge from the financial crisis, capital is flowing back to emerging market countries (EMEs). These flows, and capital mobility more generally, allow countries with limited savings to attract financing for productive investment projects, foster the diversification of investment risk, promote intertemporal trade, and contribute to the development of financial markets. In this sense, the benefits from a free flow of capital across borders are similar to the benefits from free trade (see Reaping the Benefits of Financial Globalization, IMF Occasional Paper 264, 2008), and imposing restrictions on capital mobility means foregoing, at least in part, these benefits, owing to the distortions and resource misallocation that controls give rise to (see Edwards and Ostry, 1992, for an example of how capital controls interact with other distortions in the economy).

Mr. Jaewoo Lee, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Mr. Michael Kumhof, and Charles Freedman

This paper presents simulations with a multicountry structural model to show that worldwide expansionary fiscal policy combined with accommodative monetary policy can have significant multiplier effects on the world economy. It also provides a framework for assessing the effects of fiscal actions needed to help counter the projected contractionary pressures in the world economy. In an ideal scenario where fiscal stimulus is both global and supported by monetary accommodation, and where financial sectors that are under pressure are being supported by governments, every dollar spent on government investment can increase GDP by about $3, while every dollar of targeted transfers can increase GDP by about $1. In countries in which fiscal space is limited, it will be especially important to focus fiscal stimulus actions on those measures that will have the largest effect on aggregate demand. It is particularly important for fiscal policy to take on an increased share of the burden during the period in which the financial sector is recovering and is not yet able or willing to extend credit to households and businesses to the extent that it normally does.

Mr. Michael Keen and Benjamin Jones

Negotiations toward a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change have come to a critical point, and domestic climate policies are being developed, as the world seeks to recover from the deepest economic crisis for decades and looks for new sources of sustainable growth. This position paper considers the challenge posed by these two policy imperatives: how to exit from the crisis while developing an effective response to climate change. Blending the objectives of a sustained recovery and effective climate policies presents both challenges and opportunities. Although there are potential “win-win” spending measures conducive to both, the more fundamental linkages and synergies lie in the broader strategies adopted toward each other. Greater climate resilience can promote macroeconomic stability and alleviate poverty; and carbon pricing, essential for mitigation, can contribute to the strengthening of fiscal positions that is expected to be needed in many countries. There are, nevertheless, also difficult trade-offs to face, notably in the somewhat greater caution now warranted in moving to more aggressive emissions pricing. However, the simple policy guidelines for addressing climate issues remain fundamentally unchanged; the need to deploy a range of regulatory, spending, and emissions pricing measures.

Mr. John D Brondolo

The global financial and economic crisis presents major challenges for tax agencies. With the economic downturn, tax agencies are encountering emerging compliance problems and greater demands for taxpayer support in the face of prospective budget cuts. To help address these challenges, this paper encourages tax agencies to develop a tax compliance strategy for the crisis by (1) expanding assistance to taxpayers, (2) refocusing enforcement on emerging compliance risks, (3) enacting legislative reforms that facilitate tax administration, and (4) improving communication programs. In each of these areas, the paper identifies specific measures to underpin the strategy, drawing on practices from leading tax agencies and experiences from IMF technical assistance. The paper also highlights emerging tax compliance issues in the financial sector.