Factors Determining a ‘Safe’ Level of Public Debt
Since 2008, the world economy has been facing consequences of the global financial crisis. One of them is rapid growth in public debt in most advanced economies, which resulted from an overoptimistic estimate of fiscal situation before the crisis, declining government revenue and increasing social expenditure during the crisis, costs of the banking system restructuring, countercyclical fiscal policies, etc.
For this reason, many governments are trying to determine a ‘safe’ level of fiscal deficit and public debt. However, this is not an easy task. There is no single standard of fiscal safety for all economies. Besides, a globalized economy and irregular business cycle make it difficult to find out in which phase of the cycle a given economy is at the moment, while this is essential to assess fiscal indicators.
Historical experience shows that default risk may materialize at different levels of public debt, sometimes seemingly very low. In fact, a ‘safe’ borrowing level is country-specific and depends on many factors and often unpredictable circumstances. However, given the tense situation in global markets, the ‘safe’ level of public debt is lower than it used to be a decade ago. Another argument for a cautious approach concerns a highly pro-cyclical nature of such measures as the fiscal deficit to GDP or public debt to GDP ratios.
Lessons of the latest crises also indicate importance of more accurate estimation of countries’ contingent fiscal liabilities, particularly of those relating to the stability in the financial sector. If looking into the future, a correct estimation of other contingent liabilities, particularly those related to social welfare systems (implicit debt of the public pension and health systems) are of primary importance in the context of the ageing society and population decline. These liabilities far exceed official statistics on the public debt in some counties. As a result, such statistics does not present an adequate picture of the nation's public debt and actual fiscal burden that will be imposed on the shoulders of the following generations of taxpayers.
The main objective of OECD project was the development of recommendations aimed at improving the use of economic and other instruments for management of water resources for ensuring sustainable development of water sector, as well as socio-economic development of the Republic of Buryatia as the whole. The project consisted of three stages that resulted in the devуlopment of specific relevant reports, included in the given series of works implemented on the commission of OECD.
Proposed recommendations rather relate to improvement of water policies while the aim of the series of projects was not the development of detailed methodologies or instructions on application of specific instruments, but identification of a main direction of policy in the field of water resource management. Such methodological guidence on application and improvement of various administrative and economic instruments would be developed later, after principal political decisions on the proposed measures are made.
Demyanova E.A. SPAIN IN THE EU: RESULTS. This article is devoted to studying of the results of Spain's accession to the European Union. The research is based on investigation of gradual integration of Spain in the carrying out of the main EU policies, such as: fiscal, monetary, foreign trade and foreign exchange, and estimation of how this affected the Spanish economy. As a result of realized analysis the following conclusion can be made - the participation in EU policy has helped Spain to deal with many problems that existed for a long time and leaded to stabilizing economic growth rates.
This paper studies fiscal policy in Russia 2004–2010 with the aid of structural budget balance and fiscal impulse measures. To check for robustness several methods estimating the potential GDP are employed. The research suggests a hypothesis that the output in Russia is subject to two types of shocks: persistent outward shocks and short-term internal shocks. In 2004–2010, fiscal policy coped with the internal shocks but could not smooth outward instability. Fiscal policy in Russia is procyclical; it does not stabilize the output.
I argue that the rather unfavorable conclusions of the three papers in the session on "Coordination and Tradeoffs" might not be as bad as they seem. In particular, I dwell on challenges facing the central bank using an interest rate that is different from the risk-free rate in its Taylor rule, and show that proper redefinition of the intercept and the slope of the rule allows avoidance of inflationary bias and preserves the stability of equilibrium.
Partisan governments play an impor tant role in the elaborat ion of macroeconomic policies of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries: they manage ﬁscal policy and coordinate with a Central Bank that conducts monetary policy. Ideology is a crucial parameter of the ruling coalition. This study focuses on the inﬂuence of the ideology of the ruling coalition on macroeconomic policies of the OECD countries. Using statistical methods, the analysis examines the relationship between the “rightism” of the ruling coalition and such characteristics of budgetary policy as budget balancing, state expenditures and tax collection. The ﬁndings show that the inﬂuence of ideology is determined by a set of social and economic factors, so the nature of the inﬂuence that ideology wields may work in diﬀerent directions depending on the conditions.
Chapter of the book examines the fiscal policy of Russia and, mainly, the creation of the Stabilization Fund as a mean to counter the negative effects of external macroeconomic conditions. The role of the Stabilization Fund in Russia in the early period of the crisis of 2008-09 was shown.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.