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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings in Singapore offered more than 30 forums at which delegates and representatives of civil society organizations and private companies, as well as IMF and World Bank officials, debated a number of thorny economic and social issues. The 2006 Program of Seminars, September 16–18, covered such topics as oil prices, aging populations, Asian integration, and corporate governance. Highlights of some of the seminars follow:

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

SDR interest rate, rate of charge on IMF nonconcessional loans outstanding, and dollars per SDR

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The September 2015 issue of the IMF Research Bulletin covers a range of research topics. The Research Summaries featured in this issue are “Lower for Longer: Neutral Rates in the United States” (Andrea Pescatori and Jarkko Turunen) and “Economic Principles for Resource Revenue Management” (Anthony J. Venables and Samuel Wills). The Q&A article looks at “Seven Questions on Financing for Development” (Amadou Sy) and the global development agenda. The issue also includes special announcements on the 2015 Annual Research Conference and the 2015 IMF Annual Report, as well as new IMF publications. Readers will also find a link to a top-viewed article from the “IMF Economic Review”—the IMF’s official research journal.
Mr. R. G Gelos and Mr. Alberto Isgut
This paper examines capital adjustment patterns using two large and largely novel data sets from the manufacturing sectors of Colombia and Mexico. The findings show that investment patterns in these countries resemble those reported for the United States to a surprising extent. Capital adjustments beyond maintenance investment occur only rarely, but large spikes account for a significant fraction of total investment. Although duration models do not provide strong evidence for the presence of substantial fixed costs, nonparametric adjustment function estimates reveal the presence of irreversibilities in investment. These irreversibilities are important for understanding aggregate investment behavior.
Mr. Luc Laeven and Mr. Fabian Valencia
In episodes of significant banking distress or perceived systemic risk to the financial system, policymakers have often opted for issuing blanket guarantees on bank liabilities to stop or avoid widespread bank runs. In theory, blanket guarantees can prevent bank runs if they are credible. However, guarantee could add substantial fiscal costs to bank restructuring programs and may increase moral hazard going forward. Using a sample of 42 episodes of banking crises, this paper finds that blanket guarantees are successful in reducing liquidity pressures on banks arising from deposit withdrawals. However, banks' foreign liabilities appear virtually irresponsive to blanket guarantees. Furthermore, guarantees tend to be fiscally costly, though this positive association arises in large part because guarantees tend to be employed in conjunction with extensive liquidity support and when crises are severe.
Miss Catriona Purfield
The formulation of fiscal policy in Kiribati faces unusual challenges. Kiribati's revenue base is among the most volatile in the world, and it possesses sizeable financial assets. Drawing on lessons from some other countries who experience high volatility in their revenues, this paper proposes a fiscal policy rule for Kiribati which is nested within a medium-term macroeconomic framework that aims to ensure the sustainable use of Kiribati's financial assets while managing the impact of extreme revenue volatility. It also discusses improvements in the institutional fiscal policy framework that could support such a framework.
Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov
A key priority for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is to create a dynamic non-oil tradable sector to support sustainable growth. Since export diversification takes a long time, it has to start now. We argue that the failure to diversify away from oil stems mainly from market failures rather than government failures. To tackle market failures, the government needs to change the incentive structure for workers and firms. Experiences of oil exporters that managed to diversify suggest that a focus on competing in international markets and an emphasis on technological upgrade and climbing the “quality ladder” are crucial.

Abstract

Microeconomic policies, dealing with individual industries and economic sectors, have traditionally addressed environmental concerns, but increasingly the environment is being viewed in terms of the macro economy. To improve its understanding of the interrelationship between macroeconomics and the environment, the IMF held a seminar in May 1995 at which recognized experts from academic and research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and staff from the World Bank and the IMF shared their views on how macroeconomic policies affect the environment and how environmental policies affect the macro economy. The present volume, edited by Ved P. Gandhi, contains the papers and proceedings of this seminar.

Jahangir Amuzegar

This paper presents a review of the principal issues emerging from an IMF Conference held in March 1983. The special drawing right has been conceived in the 1960s and has been formally provided in the first amendment to the Articles of Agreement of the IMF, which took effect in 1969. Upon the abandonment of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates and the coming of freedom for the IMF members to adopt the exchange arrangements of their choice, a lack of discipline has been felt in the international monetary system.