This paper analyzes some of the lessons that can be drawn from the experience of Eastern Europe in the process of transition to a market economy that is under way, and examines some key challenges currently facing policymakers in these economies. The paper studies the constraints affecting the general strategy of reform--rapid versus gradual--that was adopted, and the output decline initially experienced and its effect on medium-term growth perspectives. The paper also discusses the implementation of mass privatization schemes, and the type and extent of government intervention in the restructuring process. This is a Paper on Policy Analysis and Assessment and the author(s) would welcome any comments on the present text. Citations should refer to a Paper on Policy Analysis and Assessment of the International Monetary Fund, mentioning the authors) and the date of issuance. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Fund.
This paper summarizes the objectives, tasks, and modalities of large-scale, post-crisis corporate restructuring based on nine recent episodes with a view to organizing the policy choices and drawing some general conclusions. These episodes suggest that government-led restructuring efforts should integrate corporate and bank restructuring in a holistic and transparent strategy based on clearly defined objective and including sunset provisions.
Mr. Andy M. Wolfe, Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis, and Mr. James Daniel
Current guidelines and practice for classifying government bank assistance operations inadequately capture in the fiscal balance some of the most common, and important, operations. The shortcomings result from the focus on the general government, the exclusion of non-cash operations, and divergences between the timing of cash outlays and the economic impact of assistance operations. Complementing the standard measures of the fiscal balance with an “augmented” balance would provide a definition that is transparent, comprehensive, and reasonably comparable across countries. The augmented balance would explicitly incorporate the major quantifiable fiscal costs of bank assistance operations that are not already included in current definitions of the overall balance.
The more advanced Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) face an evolving set of considerations in choosing their exchange rate policies. On the one hand, capital mobility is increasing, and this imposes additional constraints on fixed exchange rate regimes, while trend real appreciation makes the combination of low inflation and exchange rate stability problematic. On the other hand, the objectives of EU and eventual EMU membership make attractive a peg to the euro at some stage in the transition. The paper discusses these conflicting considerations, and considers the feasibility of an alternative monetary framework, inflation targeting.