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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Near-term global financial stability risks have been contained as an unprecedented policy response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped avert a financial meltdown and maintain the flow of credit to the economy. For the first time, many emerging market central banks have launched asset purchase programs to support the smooth functioning of financial markets and the overall economy. But the outlook remains highly uncertain, and vulnerabilities are rising, representing potential headwinds to recovery. The report presents an assessment of the real-financial disconnect, as well as forward-looking analysis of nonfinancial firms, banks, and emerging market capital flows. After the outbreak, firms’ cash flows were adversely affected as economic activity declined sharply. More vulnerable firms—those with weaker solvency and liquidity positions and smaller size—experienced greater financial stress than their peers in the early stages of the crisis. As the crisis unfolds, corporate liquidity pressures may morph into insolvencies, especially if the recovery is delayed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more vulnerable than large firms with access to capital markets. Although the global banking system is well capitalized, some banking systems may experience capital shortfalls in an adverse scenario, even with the currently deployed policy measures. The report also assesses the pandemic’s impact on firms’ environmental performance to gauge the extent to which the crisis may result in a reversal of the gains posted in recent years.

International Monetary Fund
This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during July-December 1993 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period. Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201
International Monetary Fund
The insensitivity of sovereign loan secondary market returns to macroeconomic fundamentals has been attributed to market illiquidity and the absence of publicly reported transactional prices. During the 1920s and 1930s sovereign bonds were traded in an active market and weekly transactional prices were publicly available. This paper shows that price changes from both eras are insensitive to unexpected changes in key external and country-specific macroeconomic aggregates, but that returns are moved by individual agent announcements that presage changes in future lending. The results, which contrast with studies of U.S. equities, indicate that the sovereignty of the issuer matters more than the type of debt contract.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper discusses the structural adjustment in low-income countries. In the first 20 months of its operations, the IMF’s structural adjustment facility (SAF) has provided concessional financial assistance to support the balance-of-payments adjustment efforts of 21 low-income member countries. Most SAF arrangements have supported policy reform programs that have also received support under other IMF facilities. The fundamental concept underlying the SAF is the notion that growth and adjustment are mutually reinforcing.