International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic poses unprecedented health, economic, and financial stability challenges. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the prices of risk assets collapsed and market volatility spiked, while expectations of widespread defaults led to a surge in borrowing costs. Several factors amplified asset price moves: previously overstretched asset valuations, pressures to unwind leveraged trades, dealers' balance-sheet constraints, and a deterioration in market liquidity. Emerging market economies experienced the sharpest reversal of portfolio flows on record. As a result, financial conditions tightened at an unprecedented speed. Decisive monetary, financial, and fiscal policy actions-aimed at containing the fallout from the pandemic-managed to stabilize investor sentiment in late March-early April, with markets paring back some of their losses.