The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Trade among the CMEA countries will soon be conducted at world prices and in convertible currencies. These are crucial steps in economic reform but will worsen Eastern Europe’s terms of trade and drive it into current account deficit with the USSR. Proposals have been made for a payments union, resembling the European Payments Union of 1950-1958, to ease the transition. But it would not be very helpful if confined to the countries of Eastern Europe and would not function well if it included the USSR, which would be a persistent creditor. Other ways must be found to deal with the transition.