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Mr. Kamau Thugge and Mr. Anthony R. Boote

Abstract

Este folleto describe la iniciativa que emprendieron el FMI y el Banco Mundial en 1996 para abordar de manera integral la carga global de la deuda de determinados países pobres muy endeudados (PPME) que estaban aplicando programas de ajuste y reforma con el respaldo de ambas instituciones. El objetivo de esta Iniciativa es reducir la deuda de estos países a niveles sostenibles de modo que puedan cumplir con sus obligaciones corrientes y futuras de servicio de la deuda sin comprometer indebidamente su crecimiento económico. Este folleto describe los fundamentos y las principales características de la Iniciativa, según fue concebida originalmente en 1996, y su implementación hasta el cuarto trimestre de 1999, que culminó en la aprobación a finales de ese año de la Iniciativa Reforzada para los PPME, cuya finalidad es suministrar un alivio de la deuda más profundo y más rápido a un mayor número de países. La Iniciativa Reforzada para los PPME también busca asegurar que el alivio de la deuda esté integrado en una estrategia de reducción de la deuda de alcance más general, formulada con una participación de amplia base y adaptada a las circunstancias de cada país.

Mr. Kamau Thugge and Mr. Anthony R. Boote

Abstract

At their meetings in September 1996, the IMF’s Interim Committee and the IMF and World Bank’s Development Committee endorsed specific proposals put forward jointly by the IMF and the World Bank to address the problems of a limited number of HIPCs that follow sound policies, but for which traditional debt-relief mechanisms are inadequate to secure a sustainable external debt position over the medium term. The Committees requested the two institutions to proceed quickly with the implementation of the Initiative.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

El autor -quien ocupó un alto cargo en el FMI durante dos décadas- en primer lugar centra la atención en el sistema de cuotas y la distribución del poder de voto en el FMI y concluye que se requieren reformas para lograr una mayor equidad entre los países miembros. Seguidamente examina cómo se toman las decisiones en el Directorio Ejecutivo, con énfasis en la formación de consenso en una institución basada en la cooperación, y el historial de supervisión política del sistema monetario internacional a través del Comité Provisional y su sucesor, el Comité Monetario y Financiero Internacional. En ese contexto, el autor también aborda el impacto que tienen en las decisiones que toma el FMI las actividades de los grupos de países miembros, así como los intereses divergentes de los principales accionistas. Posteriormente señala las características distintivas de las crisis financieras de la década de 1990 y examina cómo repercuten en la estructura de gobierno del FMI. El ensayo concluye con una evaluación de la estructura de gobierno del FMI.

Mr. Kamau Thugge and Mr. Anthony R. Boote

Abstract

The HIPC Initiative is not a panacea for all of the economic problems of the HIPCs. Even if, hypothetically, all of the external debts of the HIPCs were forgiven, most would still continue to need large-scale concessional external assistance; as noted earlier, currently their receipts of such assistance are much larger than their debt-service payments. Given their high levels of poverty and limited domestic resources available to meet the costs of social programs that address the needs of the poor, most HIPCs are likely to continue to be dependent on aid. The HIPC Initiative does not imply a cessation of aid to HIPCs: if it leads to withdrawal of aid, it will fail. However, given the pressures on aid budgets in major donor countries, which are likely to prevail in the foreseeable future, continuing aid will be most effective if it catalyzes private financial flows, particularly investment. There is a limit to the extent to which these flows can be debt creating, if future overindebtedness is to be avoided. This suggests a need for institution building that is essential for attracting private investment as well as for providing support for putting in place necessary infrastructure.

Anne O. Krueger

Abstract

The absence of a robust legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring generates important costs. Sovereigns with unsustainable debts often wait too long before they seek a restructuring, leaving both their citizens and their creditors worse off. And when sovereigns finally do opt for restructuring, the process is more protracted than it needs to be and less predictable than creditors would like.

Anne O. Krueger

Abstract

What features of a legal framework would need to be in place in order to establish adequate incentives for debtors and creditors to agree upon a prompt, orderly, and predictable restructuring of unsustainable debt? As will be seen, although the features of existing domestic legislative models provide important guidance as to how to address collective action problems among creditors in the insolvency context, the applicability of these models is limited by the unique characteristics of a sovereign state.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper describes the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and suggests that it should enable HIPCs to exit from the debt-rescheduling process. It argues that implementation of the Initiative should eliminate debt as an impediment to economic development and growth and enable HIPC governments to focus on the difficult policies and reforms required to remove the remaining impediments to achieving sustainable development. The paper describes the implementation of the Initiative through the end of September 1998.

Mr. Kamau Thugge and Mr. Anthony R. Boote

Abstract

This pamphlet describes the IMF-World Bank initiative begun in 1996 to address in a comprehensive manner the overall debt burden of eligible heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) pursuing programs of adjustment and reform supported by the two organizations. The aim of the Initiative is to reduce these countries debt to sustainable levels so that they can meet current and future debt service obligations without unduly compromising growth. This pamphlet describes the rationale for and the main features of the Initiative as it was originally conceived in 1996 and its implementation through the fall of 1999, which culminated in the approval of an enhanced HIPC Initiative in late 1999 that is aimed at providing deeper and more rapid debt relief to a larger number of countries. The enhanced HIPC Initiative also seeks to ensure that debt relief is integrated into a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy that is developed with broad-based participation and tailored to the country's circumstances.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper analyzes the IMF’s Enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, which provides debt relief for low-income countries. The paper highlights that countries affected by the debt crisis of the 1980s received concerted support from the international financial community in the form of Paris Club flow reschedulings, stock-of-debt operations under the Brady plan, and adjustment programs supported by the multilateral financial institutions. These measures proved effective in significantly improving the debt situation of many middle-income countries.

Ms. Jacqueline T Irving

Abstract

This pamphlet reports on how the enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) is meeting its aim of delivering faster, broader, and deeper debt relief to more HIPCs once these countries have shown a commitment to put the freed-up funds to work for the poor. The pamphlet also includes introductory sections that explain the rationale for the HIPC Initiative and describe how it works. A concluding section discusses the Initiative’s top challenge in the year ahead: to bring the remaining eligible countries to their decision points under the Initiative as fast and realistically as possible.