The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
To mitigate the risks of contagion from problems arising in the banking sector, many countries operate some form of banking sector safety net. Such safety nets generally involve a judicious mixture of transparency and ambiguity. This ambiguity may be important to counter moral hazard effects but may lead to excessive forbearance in the face of banking problems. While the scope for ambiguity has been declining, some ambiguity in the handling of individual institutions remains. In any case, ex post transparency is essential for reviewing the propriety of any assistance and preserving the authorities' future reputation and policy credibility.