Dabrowski, Marek (2020): Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic: Economic Dilemmas and Choices, Valdai Club Expert Opinions, November 30, 2020, https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/fighting-the-covid-19-pandemic-economic-dilemmas/
The review considers the consequences of the widespread adoption of digital technologies into social life during the COVID-19 pandemic. It discusses how people’s interactions with each other and with technological devices have changed, how the inability to communicate directly face to face has affected them and what risks arise from the digitalization of work, education and everyday life.
This paper explores the history of the formation of public debt in Russian Empire in the 18th century
Review of current debt and fiscal policies executed by regional administrations of the regions in Ural Federal District and a neighboring Perm Region. Demonstrated, that debt strategy of the region depends mostly not on internal drivers – such as level of economic development and related revenues, but predominantly on federal policy in these areas. Forecast of debt policies of covered regions was given, and recommendations on appropriate instruments for debt funding proposed. .
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.
In the second half of the 2010s, the economic situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) deteriorated as a result of lower oil and other commodity prices, a new round of domestic political instability, continuous intra-regional conflicts, stalled economic and governance reforms and, finally, the COVID-19 pandemic. The deteriorating macroeconomic trends manifested themselves in slower growth rates (which in 2020 turned negative almost everywhere), worsening fiscal and external balances, increasing public debt and, in several cases, higher inflation. There has been no visible progress in resolving long-term structural and institutional challenges such as high unemployment, especially among youths, low female labour market participation, poor quality of education, costly and ineffective public sector activity, high military and security spending, high energy subsidies and others.
Intentions to reduce debt levels of regions and municipalties that coincided with external shock to the regional bond market are likely to reduce issuance but improve quality of issuers
This issue of the series «Modern Education Analytics» examines trends in changes in wages, employment and income of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. This publication reviews the dynamics of the average salary of teaching staff of educational organizations at all levels of education. Special attention is paid to the study of the purchasing power of the average salary of teachers of educational organizations by level of education as a key characteristic of the success of reforms in the field of teachers’ remuneration, reflecting the satisfaction of teachers and changes in the status of teachers. The issue also presents proposals for improving the remuneration of teachers in the current conditions of transition to mixed learning technologies in education.
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.