This Selected Issues paper examines a number of potential factors that may have influenced the short-term behavior of the exchange rate between the Chilean peso and the U.S. dollar during the period of floating exchange rate, including the possible impact of developments in Argentina during 2001. The paper investigates whether copper prices can be successfully forecasted over medium-term horizons, emphasizing the properties of copper prices most relevant in the Chilean context, including for fiscal policymaking. The paper also provides a snapshot of the Chilean banking and corporate sectors.
This paper answers key questions in considering a value-added tax (VAT) for Central and Eastern European countries. The paper emphasizes that in Western countries tax policy derives from the assumption that the market achieves an optimal allocation of resources. Efficiency in resource allocation and, by extension, the neutrality advantages of the VAT cannot be attained if prices continue to be controlled by the government and enterprises continue to be subject to undue regulation and direction from the center. If a VAT is not to resemble the kind of bookkeeping exercise of the old turnover taxes, then its introduction should be preceded by a substantial degree of price liberalization and enterprise autonomy. Finally, a VAT is a “democratic tax,” in the sense that, in the main, taxpayers must comply voluntarily with the obligations imposed on them. Also, they have the right to disagree with the tax liability as ascertained by the tax office. This requires carefully crafted procedures and sustained efforts to elicit taxpayer cooperation.
This paper describes the structure of the world gold market, its sources of supply and demand, and how it functions. The paper examines the composition and origin of physical stocks of gold, their flows, and their market destination and also reviews the operation of bullion and paper gold markets.