Tight Money and the Sustainability of Public Debt
One consequence of the recent global financial crisis has been the rapid growth of public debt in advanced economies, which has reached record-high peacetime levels. Emerging market and developing economies appeared more resilient immediately after the 2008-2009 crisis; however, declining commodity prices and decelerating growth during 2014-2016 have weakened their fiscal positions.
Faced with a growing debt burden, many governments have attempted to determine the ‘safe’ level of fiscal deficit and public debt. However, there is no single standard of fiscal safety for all economies. Experience shows that default risk may occur at various levels of public debt. In fact, a ‘safe’ borrowing level is country specific and depends on many factors and often-unpredictable circumstances.
Lessons from the latest crises also highlight the importance of more accurate estimations of contingent fiscal liabilities, namely those relating to the stability of the financial sector. Looking ahead, estimations of other contingent liabilities, particularly those related to social welfare systems (the implicit debts of the public pension and health systems) are of primary importance in the context of an aging society and a population decline.
The gross general government debt-to-GDP ratios in many advanced economies have reached the highest levels in peacetime history and continue to grow, putting into question sovereign solvency in these economies. In case of new adverse shocks, whether economic or political, global or country-specific, which result in the deterioration of growth prospects or higher real interest rates, or both, the situation could easily get out control. Apart from the risk of sovereign default, excessive public debt might also have a negative impact on the stability of financial sector and on economic growth in the medium and long term. Debt sustainability simulations for the group of highly-indebted advanced economies – those in which the general government gross public debt-to-GDP ratio exceeded 80 percent in 2015 – suggest that benefits of the current record-low interest rates and post-crisis growth recovery should be used for fiscal consolidation. The aim of this should be not only to stop further expansion of debt-to-GDP ratios, but also to gradually reduce them. Such corrective measures are needed in six out of seven G7 members (Germany being the exception) and in 10 out of 19 euro-area members. The fiscal situation of Japan, where gross debt has reached 250 percent of GDP, is particularly precarious. In addition, unless there are reforms of public pension, health and long-term care systems, fiscal consolidation in advanced economies must also create room for the higher spending levels in these areas that will result from aging populations.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.