NEO-CLASSICAL central banking theory is based on the assumption that there are, essentially, two instruments which a central bank may use to implement monetary policy. The first is control over the central bank’s own assets, primarily its security holdings or rediscounts. The second is control of the cash reserve ratios of the deposit money banks. Recently, a number of countries have resorted to more direct instruments of control. Publicly announced “ceilings” have become parts of monetary policy, supplementing discount and reserve policies. However, these new instruments have been developed pragmatically, to meet the institutional requirements of particular countries. As yet, there has been relatively little discussion of their appropriate place in the armory of central banking policy, or of the problems associated with their use. A recent modern text on monetary economics was able to dismiss all direct central banking controls with the statement that “there is relatively little that can be said about them in general terms.”1 By now, they are a sufficiently widespread aspect of central bank control to deserve discussion.
This Selected Issues Paper on Belgium provides an overview of the extent of trade and financial openness of Belgium and the links to particular countries. With an export-to-GDP ratio of 79 percent, Belgium belongs to the most open economies in Europe and also globally. Its exports are highly concentrated with a share of three-fourths of total merchandise exports accounted for by the European Union, of which close to two-thirds go to Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
Belgium has effected a remarkable fiscal adjustment, best illustrated by the decline in its public debt. While benefiting from an appreciable decline in interest rates, most of the underlying consolidation reflected a considerable increase in the tax burden, one of the highest in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. This paper analyzes the social transfer system in Belgium. Belgium has a very accessible and equitable health care system. The system is characterized by high input levels and service volumes.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper reviews the development of Iran under the IMF’s assistance. Iran has made considerable use of the IMF’s resources. It joined the IMF in 1945 with an original quota of US$25 million. The quota has been periodically raised and this year reached US$125 million. Total purchases from the IMF by Iran have amounted to US$121 million, and repurchases now total US$107 million, the last transaction being a repurchase of US$3.5 million in July 1965. The World Bank has lent more to Iran than anywhere else in the Middle East.