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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper reviews recent developments in private market financing for developing countries. Bank creditors themselves have been more amenable to restructuring in an environment where secondary market discounts on bank claims were falling significantly below the level of bank provisioning. This has allowed banks to realize substantial book profits by participating in debt operations. Debt conversions have also played a substantial role in reducing commercial bank debt. The pace of such conversions, however, has slowed over the past year in response to lower secondary market discounts on external debt and to a drop in privatization-related conversions. The re-entry to international capital markets by certain middle-income countries that had experienced debt-servicing difficulties gathered momentum over the past year. Total bond issues in international markets by the main re-entrants accounted for over half of issues by developing countries in this period. In contrast to the experience in securities markets, new bank lending to market re-entrants has remained limited and is confined mainly to short-term trade lines or project financing.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper provides information on private market financing for developing countries, covering developments since August 1992. Progress in dealing with bank debt problems has been based in large part on persistence in the pursuit of stabilization and reform programs. Such programs have resulted in strengthened external positions that have allowed debtor countries to accumulate reserves for use in debt-reduction operations. All of the countries where negotiations are now continuing had at some point suspended payments on medium- and long-term debt. Banks have recognized that resumption of regular (albeit partial) payments can be politically difficult in the absence of a quid pro quo. The group of middle-and lower-middle income countries with debt problems still to come to terms with bank creditors on debt-reduction packages is now limited. Many of these remaining countries (including Bulgaria, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Poland) have already begun negotiations with creditor banks.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Volatility is defined as the standard deviation of the monthly proportionate changes in average exchange rates over the period indicated.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office and International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Abstract

1. This evaluation by the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) assesses the IMF’s engagement with the euro area, focusing on its surveillance and crisis management in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. In April 2010, Greece became the first euro area country to request financial support from the IMF. The IMF joined the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB)—thus constituting what informally came to be known as the troika—in providing emergency financing, with the Fund’s contribution taking the form of a three-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) approved in May; this was replaced two years later by a four-year arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) (Table 1).2 By the middle of 2013, the IMF, as part of the troika, had programs in three more euro area countries—Ireland (three-year Extended Arrangement approved in December 2010), Portugal (three-year Extended Arrangement approved in May 2011), and Cyprus (three-year Extended Arrangement approved in May 2013). In addition, the IMF provided technical assistance to Spain in support of European financial assistance for the recapitalization of Spanish financial institutions. The IMF was also active in providing policy advice to European institutions and governments throughout much of the crisis period.

Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

1. The origins of the 1980s Debt Crisis can be traced back to the acute shocks to the international monetary system in the 1970s: the collapse of the Bretton Wood system; the major oil prices hikes; and the substantial liberalization of international finance. The associated build-up of imbalances and vulnerabilities during this period ended abruptly in the early 1980s, and the IMF had to deal with its first systemic debt crisis. Given the novelty of this event, it took time for debtors, creditors, and the international community to understand the magnitude of the problems faced by these indebted economies. Reforms to the crisis-resolution framework occurred gradually and often in a piecemeal fashion. But the reforms made during the 1980s set the foundation for the IMF’s policies and principles today, remaining robust despite a continually changing landscape.

Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

1. The origins of the 1980s Debt Crisis can be traced back to the acute shocks to the international monetary system in the 1970s: the collapse of the Bretton Wood system; the major oil prices hikes; and the substantial liberalization of international finance. The associated build-up of imbalances and vulnerabilities during this period ended abruptly in the early 1980s, and the IMF had to deal with its first systemic debt crisis. Given the novelty of this event, it took time for debtors, creditors, and the international community to understand the magnitude of the problems faced by these indebted economies. Reforms to the crisis-resolution framework occurred gradually and often in a piecemeal fashion. But the reforms made during the 1980s set the foundation for the IMF’s policies and principles today, remaining robust despite a continually changing landscape.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office and International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Abstract

13. The third and final stage of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) began on January 1, 1999 when a common currency, the euro, was adopted by 11 member states of the European Union (EU).11 On January 1, 2001, Greece joined the euro area as its twelfth member. The EMU architecture, as specified by the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, included (i) an independent central bank, the European Central Bank (ECB), focused on price stability and (ii) a set of rules (fiscal deficit and public debt ceilings of 3 percent and 60 percent of GDP, respectively) designed to promote fiscal discipline in individual member states. The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), adopted in 1997, introduced a “corrective arm” that specified the procedure to be followed by a country violating these limits (known as the Excessive Deficit Procedure, EDP) and a “preventive arm” requiring countries to maintain fiscal positions close to balance or in surplus over the medium term.12 Banking supervision and deposit insurance remained national competencies.

Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

1. The debt crisis ended along with the 1980s, and 1989 saw interest rates drop and prospects for economic growth brighten. With the 1990s, private capital began flowing again to emerging and developing countries. This renewed interest in investment was bolstered by liberalization of international capital flows and widespread deregulation of financial institutions and capital markets. As the recipient economies found, however, the speculative inflows were subject to sudden capital flow reversals and stops.