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.
John Garrett, Hans-Joachim Beyer, and Claudia Dziobek
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Successful privatization must be accompanied by the complete removal of privileges and any public policy mission. Bank behavior changes rapidly as profit maximation replaces the bureaucratic objective function. Once privileges are granted, they are difficult to remove. Therefore, privatization is a one-time (nonreversible) operation. The German mortgage bank, DePfa, went through a carefully planned and lengthy privatization process that was successful. Fannie Mae, the U.S. mortgage firm, became a privately owned institution endowed with special privileges, which led to a quasi-monopoly position. This resulted in suboptimal financial sector performance. Fannie Mae's special privileges have proven resistant to reform efforts.