1. The Guidelines are designed to assist policymakers in considering reforms to strengthen the quality of their public debt management and reduce their country’s vulnerability to domestic and external shocks, irrespective of whether they are structural or financial in nature. Vulnerability is often greater for smaller and emerging market countries because their economies may be less diversified, have a smaller base of domestic financial savings and less developed financial systems, and may be more susceptible to financial contagion through capital flows. Nevertheless, events since the global financial crisis in the late 2000s demonstrate that larger and developed economies are vulnerable too. The Guidelines should therefore be considered within the broader context of the factors and forces affecting a government’s financial position more generally, and the management of its balance sheet. Governments often manage large foreign exchange reserves portfolios, their fiscal positions are frequently subject to real and monetary shocks, and they can have large exposures to contingent liabilities and to the consequences of poor balance sheet management in the private sector. However, irrespective of whether financial shocks originate within the domestic banking sector or from global financial contagion, prudent government debt management policies, along with sound macroeconomic and regulatory policies, are essential for containing the welfare and output costs associated with such shocks.
4. Public debt management is the process of establishing and executing a strategy for managing the government’s debt in order to raise the required amount of funding at the lowest possible cost over the medium to long term, consistent with a prudent degree of risk. It should also meet any other public debt management goals the government may have set, such as developing and maintaining an efficient market for government securities.
10. The main objective of public debt management is to ensure that the government’s financing needs and its payment obligations are met at the lowest possible cost over the medium to long term, consistent with a prudent degree of risk.
49. The main objective of public debt management is to ensure that the government’s financing needs and its payment obligations are met at the lowest possible cost over the medium to long term, consistent with a prudent degree of risk. Prudent risk management to avoid risky debt structures and strategies (including monetary financing of the government’s debt) is crucial, given the severe macroeconomic consequences of public debt default and the magnitude of the ensuing output losses. These costs include business and banking insolvencies as well as the diminished long-term credibility and capability of the government to mobilize domestic and foreign savings. Box 1 provides a list of the main risks encountered in public debt management.
This paper proposes that the Executive Board approve the disbursement of a second 6-month tranche of CCRT debt service relief to 28 of the 29 members, covering the period October 14, 2020 through April 13, 2021, given staff’s assessment that sufficient financial resources are available.2 In this context, the paper also provides brief updates for each beneficiary country on its policy responses to the pandemic and staff’s assessment of these policies and the use of resources freed up by debt service relief. It also provides an update on the finances of the CCRT and the fundraising efforts to secure adequate resources for grant assistance in the future. Based on grant pledges to date, resources are not sufficient to extend CCRT relief beyond the proposed second sixth-month period.
The Guidelines for Public Debt Management (Guidelines) have been developed as part of a broader work program undertaken by the IMF and the World Bank to strengthen the international financial architecture, promote policies and practices that contribute to financial stability and transparency, and reduce countries’ external vulnerabilities.
In developing the Guidelines, IMF and World Bank staffs worked in close collaboration with debt management entities from a broad group of IMF-World Bank member countries and international institutions in a comprehensive outreach process. The debt managers’ insights, which this process brought to the Guidelines, have enabled the enunciation of broadly applicable principles, as well as institutional and operational foundations, that have relevance for members with a wide range of institutional structures and at different stages of development.
The revision of the Guidelines was requested by the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, at their meeting in Moscow, on February 15–16, 2013. Since their adoption in 2001, and amendments in 2003, financial sector regulatory changes and macroeconomic policy developments, especially in response to the recent financial crisis, have significantly affected the general financial landscape. As a consequence, many countries have experienced significant shifts in their debt portfolios, in terms of both size and composition. Accordingly, the Guidelines were reviewed and revised to reflect the evolving public debt management challenges over the last decade
The Revised Guidelines for Public Debt Management have been developed as part of a broader work program undertaken by the IMF and the World Bank to strengthen the international financial architecture, promote policies and practices that contribute to financial stability and transparency, and reduce countries external vulnerabilities.