Fiscal Addairs e-Newsletter

July 2012
Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the International Monetary Fund
  Publication Updates

  IMF Working Papers



  Future Events

Sovereign Risks and Fiscal Adjustment IMF-Japan Seminar, October 10, 2012, Tokyo.

Taxation and Economic Growth in Latin America IMF, CIAT, and Receita Federal do Brazil, November 12-13, 2012, Brasilia.

Reforming Financial Sector Taxation: Two Years after the IMF’s Report to the G20 Financial Sector Taxation Conference, September 18, 2012, Brussels.

Reforming EU Fiscal Governance Joint IMF and ECB conference, December 13-14, 2012, Frankfurt.


Latest Fiscal Monitor Update Published

Tokyo Seminar

On July 16, FAD published the latest update for the Fiscal Monitor. Adjustment is proceeding generally as expected in advanced and emerging economies at a rate that strikes a compromise between restoring fiscal sustainability and supporting growth.

Book Launch Event: The Economics of Public Healthcare Reform (April 19, 2012)

Tokyo Seminar

A new book, edited by Benedict Clements, David Coady, and Sanjeev Gupta, focuses on the outlook for public health expenditures in the next 20 to 40 years and the options for health care reform. IMF Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu opened the event, while Professor Dana Goldman of University of California delivered the keynote speech. The book can be downloaded for free from the Fund's website.

FAD In The News

Bloomberg TV–Carlo Cottarelli, FAD Director, spoke to Tom Keene on "Surveillance Midday”  about the July Fiscal Monitor Update.


Huffington PostFinding the Right Balance to Adjusting Public Spending, by Carlo Cottarelli.


Washington Post“Spanish Bond Rates Jump as Investors Spurn Latest Initiatives”,
July 19, 2012.


Business News Canada– Carlo Cottarelli interviewed on Business News Network, July 16, 2012.


VOX EUHealthcare Reform: Difficult but Not Impossible


Bloomberg TV–Carlo Cottarelli, FAD Director, spoke to Tom Keene on "Surveillance Midday”  about the April Fiscal Monitor.


Recent FAD Presentations

“Fiscal Outlook and Fiscal Sustainability Risks” Banque de France Panel; “How to Address Sovereign and Banking Risks in the U.S. and Europe”; May 2, 2012, New York.

“Fiscal Policy and Green Growth,” The G20 Seminar on Green Growth, jointly organized by the Mexican G20 Presidency and OECD, May 22, 2012, Paris.

“Balancing Fiscal Policy Risks”  IMF Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP), April 27, 2012.

“Fiscal Problems in Advanced Economies”
Conference organized by Business International, June 26, 2012, Rome.

“Fiscal Transparency and Budgetary Processes”
Launch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales global public finance journal, June 21, 2012 London.

“The Austerity Debate”,
 XXIV Villa Mondragone International Economic Seminar, June 28, 2012, Rome.

FAD Organizes the Third Annual Fiscal Forum (Washington, April 18, 2012)

Fiscal Forum

This year's Forum focused on "Fiscal Policy and the Crisis: Lessons Learnt and the Way Forward." IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde opened the event, with Stanley Fischer, Governor of the Bank of Israel, providing the keynote speech. Christina Romer (University of California) outlined the main lessons from the crisis while Francesco Giavazzi (Bocconi University) made a presentation on growth-friendly fiscal consolidations. The Forum concluded with a high-level roundtable moderated by Gillian Tett (Financial Times). Participants included David Lipton (First Deputy Managing Director, IMF), Michael Boskin (Professor of Economics, Stanford University), Vítor Gaspar (Finance Minister, Portugal), Michael Gavin (Managing Director and Head of Emerging Markets Strategy, Barclays Capital), Richard L. Trumka (AFL-CIO President) and Rodrigo Vergara (Governor, Central Bank of Chile).

The Political Economy of Subsidy Reform: Lessons for the MENA Region

During the Spring Meetings FAD and MCD organized a panel discussion on “The Political Economy of Subsidy Reform: Lessons for the MENA Region.” The panel discussed the challenges of phasing out universal price subsidies and introducing more targeted social protection. The panel included José Antonio González Anaya (Under-Secretary of Finance, Mexico); Nemat Shafik (IMF Deputy Managing Director); Mehmet Şimşek (Minister of Finance, Turkey); and Umayya Toukan, (Minister of Finance, Jordan). It was moderated by Abderrahim Foukara (Washington DC Bureau Chief, Al Jazeera). The event was videotaped and broadcast by Al Jazeera.

FAD Organizes Joint Conference in Swedish Finance Ministry (Stockholm, May 7-8, 2012)

Fiscal Forum

FAD and the Swedish Ministry of Finance held a joint conference on medium-term budget frameworks and fiscal consolidation programs. The event brought together policy-makers, practitioners, and academics from around the world to review current fiscal programs, discuss options, and propose solutions. Among the participants were Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg; IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton; and FAD Director Carlo Cottarelli.

FAD Conference on Fiscal Institutions and Social Policies for Asia (Seoul, May 30-June 1, 2012)

Tokyo Seminar


FAD and the Korean Ministry of Finance, in cooperation with the Korea Institute of Public Finance, organized a conference on fiscal institutions and social policies. It was attended by over 50 senior officials from 20 Asian countries, mostly from ministries of finance. The conference was opened by Mr. Jaewan Bahk, Minister of Strategy and Finance, and was covered extensively by the Korean media.

IMF Co-Hosts Seminar on Reforming Tax and Customs Administration (Singapore, May 28- June 1, 2012)

The IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, the Tax Academy of Singapore, and the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD) co-hosted the first seminar on challenges of reforming tax and customs administrations. The event drew on the participants’ experiences in the design and implementation of the tax and customs administration reforms.

Fiscal Rules: A New Dataset

FAD has just published a new Fiscal Rules dataset and an easy-to-operate visualization tool that allows for at-a-glance comparisons across 81 countries. The analysis covers the main characteristics of these rules, as well as key supporting features, such as independent monitoring bodies and fiscal responsibility laws.

FAD Co-Hosts Seminar on Counter-Cyclical Fiscal Policies
(Tokyo, April 26-27, 2012)

With the support from the Japanese government, FAD and the IMF Office for the Asia Pacific Region organized a seminar on counter-cyclical policies. The seminar looked at the experiences of advanced, emerging markets and low-income economies in Asia in the context of the ongoing global crisis. Participants included current and former officials from countries of the region, as well as members of the financial sector and academia.

Tax and Subsidy Reform for a Greener Economy
(Rio+20, June 20-22, 2012)

FAD organized a seminar at the recent United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development on the reform of fiscal policy to promote more environmentally sustainable growth. Discussions covered the use of tax instruments to reflect environmental damages in market prices, reform of environmentally harmful subsidies affecting energy and agriculture, and policy experience in Latin America, Asia, and selected OECD countries.

Conference on Cross-Border Taxation
(Washington, May 21-22, 2012)

Fiscal Forum

FAD held a two-day workshop on cross-border issues in the taxation of extractive industries. The event was opened by Deputy Managing Director Ms. Shafik. Sessions covered the economics of international taxation; transfer pricing; and related regional fiscal issues. The workshop raised questions about the usefulness of tax treaties for host countries, and identified a somewhat chaotic international framework for cross-border projects and resources. The concluding panel was chaired by Ms. Sayeh (Director, African Department).

Income Inequality and Fiscal Policy

A new Staff Discussion Note, prepared by Sanjeev Gupta and David Coady, finds that public spending and taxation policies can play a crucial role in addressing rising income inequality in both advanced and developing economies.  

Fiscal Frameworks for Resource-Rich Developing Countries

A new Staff Discussion Note highlights the options for fiscal policy frameworks in resource rich developing countries. The note, prepared by Thomas Baunsgaard, Mauricio Villafuerte, Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro, and Christine Richmond, reassesses the role of the permanent income hypothesis, especially in low-income countries seeking to tackle infrastructure and development needs by scaling up growth-enhancing expenditure.

Fiscal Policy to Mitigate Climate Change

The IMF has published a handbook for policymakers on Fiscal Policy to Mitigate Climate Change. The book, edited by Ruud de Mooij, Ian Parry, and Michael Keen offers practical suggestions for designing and implementing fiscal instruments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Technical Assistance Activities

During March-June 2012, FAD provided 83 technical assistance missions to IMF member countries and multi-country organizations.

Career Opportunities

FAD seeks talented and dedicated professionals with a background in different areas of public finance, to work on macro-fiscal policy issues and provide technical assistance advice to IMF member countries on public financial management, tax policy reform, revenue administration, and different expenditure policy issues. Vacancies in FAD for staff and long-term expert positions are posted on FAD also seeks experts who are interested in occasional short-term (2–3 week) assignments. Interested candidates may send their CVs to