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William F. Steel

This paper examines the policy implications of structural changes in financial markets. Domestic financial markets have become less segmented, and the major financial centers more integrated. At the same time, the structural changes in financial markets have improved efficiency by lowering intermediation costs, increasing the ability to hedge financial risks associated with currency, interest rate, and price volatility and opening up access to new sources of savings. The widespread application of computer and telecommunications technology to financial markets has permitted markets to process a significantly larger volume of transactions.

Mr. Tetsuya Konuki and Mr. Mauricio Villafuerte
Excessively procyclical fiscal policy can be harmful. This paper investigates to what extent the fiscal policies of sub-Saharan African countries were procyclical in recent years and the reasons for the degree of fiscal procyclicality among these countries. It finds that a tendency for procyclical fiscal policy was particularly pronounced among oil exporters and after the global financial crisis. It also finds a statistically significant causal link running from deeper financial markets and higher reserves coverage to lower fiscal policy procyclicality. Fiscal rules supported by strong political commitment and institutions seem to be key to facilitating progress for deeper financial markets and stronger reserves coverage.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses the progress report on the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) for Nigeria. The NEEDS 2004–07 is Nigeria’s reform based medium-term plan for economic recovery, growth, and development. Fiscal and monetary policies have been carefully managed in the implementation of NEEDS. A major budget reform introduced under NEEDS was the Oil Price Based Fiscal Rule and Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MFEF), which has enhanced macroeconomic stability by delinking government expenditure from the price of oil.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Damian Ondo Mañe
The Gulf of Guinea's tremendous potential is creating investment opportunities for the region. Some of its resources, such as oil, minerals, and forests, continue to attract significant investments whereas others, like natural gas, could be exploited to their full potential if necessary investments were undertaken. Nevertheless, the Gulf of Guinea has to cope with numerous challenges, both exogenous and endogenous, before it can fully benefit from its riches. One of these problems stems from the overwhelmingly weak institutions and governance, pointed by stylized facts, which add to the risks of "natural resource curse" and can feed the theory of the "Paradox of Plenty." The case is made that regional institutional arrangements and increased involvement of the international community and the African Diaspora should complement the efforts in which countries in the region should engage to address policy and governance issues. Complementary avenues are proposed, including maintaining stability and security, making better use of the region's own assets, putting in place a favorable business environment, and augmenting exports with value addition.
Mr. Simeon Inidayo Ajayi
The general objective of this study is to analyze the external debt and debt burdens of the severely indebted sub-Saharan African countries, estimate the magnitude of capital flight from them, and relate the estimate of capital flight to some macroeconomic aggregates. The study also contains policy implications of international efforts to deal with the high levels of external debt in sub-Saharan Africa in conditions of extreme poverty, and stagnant and declining exports. It questions the theoretical foundation in which the external debt strategy has been based and offers solutions to the external debt problem.
Ms. Catherine A Pattillo and Mr. Paul R Masson
Could a West African monetary union (either of the non-CFA countries, or all ECOWAS members) be an effective "agency of restraint" on fiscal policies? We discuss how monetary union could affect fiscal discipline and the arguments for explicit fiscal restraints considered in the European Monetary Union literature, and their applicability to West Africa. The empirical evidence, EMU literature, and CFA experience suggest that monetary union could create the temptation for fiscal profligacy through prospects of a bailout, or costs diluted through the membership. Thus, a West African monetary union could promote fiscal discipline only if the hands of the fiscal authorities are also tied by a strong set of fiscal restraints.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper describes the World Bank’s mission in a changing world. Conditionality of the Bank is different in several ways as it operates over a longer timeframe and relates to the more comfortable issues of economic growth rather than financial stabilization. The longer timeframes of the Bank’s programs require reaching agreement with borrowing countries on the desirability of maintaining the course that’s being advocated for an extended period. Many developing countries are unduly sensitive about the possibility that they may have to exercise their sovereignty more forcefully in the future.