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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Bulgaria did not have any exchange rate crisis, international bailout, bank intervention, or build-up of public debt. This attests to the strength of the policy framework and policy implementation. The fiscal adjustment achieved so far should be preserved, but improving the composition of the budget would support growth. The financial system is stable with high buffers, but the low growth environment poses challenges. Executive Directors suggest the need for some structural reforms.

Mr. Juan Sole
This paper mines the experience of capital markets during the 19th century to propose an alternative way of interpreting international default episodes. The standard view is that defaulting on sovereign debt entails exclusion from capital markets. Yet we have observed multiple instances of sovereign debt default in which the reaction of lenders was not the one predicted by the punishment story: in some cases, lending ceased for long periods, but in others it was not interrupted. This paper claims that the reaction of lenders after default stems from the additional knowledge about the borrower that lenders acquire during these episodes. The lending relationship is modeled in a costly state-verification environment in which governments have private information about their investment projects (good or bad). It is shown that, in the event of default, it is worthwhile for lenders to find out more about the type of project, and then interrupt lending only if the project is believed to be a bad one.
Mr. Alexander Sundakov, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Timothy D. Lane

This paper examines whether shortages may occur in an economy in transition, even for goods whose prices are free. The empirical relevance of this phenomenon is suggested by a case study of Ukraine during 1992. The paper presents a model of enterprise behavior in an environment where key inputs are centrally allocated at preferential prices. It shows that the allocation of key inputs according to perceived need may create incentives for enterprises to perpetuate shortages, despite formal price liberalization. The analysis suggests that central allocation must be abolished for price liberalization to have its full efficiency effects.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.