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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
Michael T. Gapen, Mr. Dale F Gray, Cheng Hoon Lim, and Ms. Yingbin Xiao
This paper develops a comprehensive new framework to measure and analyze sovereign risk. Since traditional macroeconomic vulnerability indicators and accounting-based measures do not address risk in a comprehensive and forward-looking way, the contingent claims approach is used to construct a marked-to-market balance sheet for the sovereign, and derive a set of credit-risk indicators that serve as a barometer of sovereign risk. Applications to 12 emerging market economies show the risk indicators to be robust and highly correlated with market spreads. The framework can help policymakers design risk mitigation strategies and rank policy options using a calibrated structural model unique to each economy.
Mr. Serkan Arslanalp and Mr. Takahiro Tsuda
This paper proposes an approach to track US$1 trillion of emerging market government debt held by foreign investors in local and hard currency, based on a similar approach that was used for advanced economies (Arslanalp and Tsuda, 2012). The estimates are constructed on a quarterly basis from 2004 to mid-2013 and are available along with the paper in an online dataset. We estimate that about half a trillion dollars of foreign flows went into emerging market government debt during 2010–12, mostly coming from foreign asset managers. Foreign central bank holdings have risen as well, but remain concentrated in a few countries: Brazil, China, Indonesia, Poland, Malaysia, Mexico, and South Africa. We also find that foreign investor flows to emerging markets were less differentiated during 2010–12 against the background of near-zero interest rates in advanced economies. The paper extends some of the indicators proposed in our earlier paper to show how the investor base data can be used to assess countries’ sensitivity to external funding shocks and to track foreign investors’ exposures to different markets within a global benchmark portfolio.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the sources of Mexico’s economic growth since the 1960s, and compares various decompositions of historical growth into trend and cyclical components. The role of the implied output gaps in the inflation process is assessed. The paper presents medium-term paths for GDP based on alternative productivity growth rates. The paper also describes the significant steps Mexico has taken to strengthen the structure of its public debt in recent years, both in terms of currency composition and maturity.