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R. Barry Johnston, Effie Psalida, Phil de Imus, Jeanne Gobat, Mr. Mangal Goswami, Mr. Christian B. Mulder, 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.

Mr. Thomas Baunsgaard, Steven A. Symansky, and Mr. Carlo Cottarelli

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.

Thomas Laryea and Mr. Luc Laeven
Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Mark A Horton, and Mr. Manmohan S. Kumar
Dimitre Milkov, Mr. Rafael A Portillo, Mr. Plamen K Iossifov, and Mr. John Wakeman-Linn
Ms. Catherine A Pattillo and Mr. Hugh Bredenkamp