IMF High Level Conference on Fiscal Risks: Sources, Disclosure, and Management

October 28–29, 2008, Paris, France

The IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department and the Offices in Europe organized a conference on “Fiscal Risks: Sources, Disclosure, and Management,” at the IMF’s Paris Office on October 28 and 29, 2008. The conference was attended by high-level officials from ministries of finance representing twenty European countries as well as representatives from international institutions, rating agencies, think tanks and academia. Participants exchanged views and discussed good practices in fiscal risks monitoring, analysis and management; fiscal risks include macroeconomic shocks and contingent liabilities (such as those related to recent government support to the financial system) that may affect fiscal balance and public debt outcomes. The conference program and several presentations are attached for information.

Presentations, when available, can be viewed by clicking on the presentation title (shown below).

List of Participants (pdf file)

This website contains papers and web links to papers that were presented at the conference. The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.


Day One—Tuesday, October 28, 2008
8:30 Registration
9:00 - 9:15 Opening Remarks: Mr. Saleh Nsouli, Director, IMF Offices in Europe.
9:15 - 9:30 Opening Speech: Mrs. Teresa Ter-Minassian, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department.
SESSION I Fiscal Risks—Main Issues

Speaker: Mr. Paolo Mauro, Division Chief, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF: "Fiscal Risks—Sources, Disclosure and Management" (30 minutes).

Discussant: Mr. Benoît Cœuré, Head of Multilateral Affairs, Trade and Development, Treasury, France (10 minutes).

Discussant: Mr. Paul Rawkins, Senior Director, Head of Sovereign Ratings Europe, Fitch (10 minutes).

General discussion (25 minutes).

10.45–11:15 Coffee Break
SESSION II Analyzing and Disclosing Fiscal Risks—International Experience

Speaker: Ms. Sandrine Duchene, France, Ministry of Finance: "The EU Approach to Fiscal Risk Identification and Disclosure" (20 minutes).

Speaker: Mr. Ricardo Velloso, Deputy Division Chief, Fiscal Affairs, IMF: "Good Practices in Fiscal Risks Disclosure—International Experience" (20 minutes).

General discussion (35 minutes).

12:30–2:00 Lunch
SESSION III Managing Fiscal Risks from Contingent Liabilities—Country Experiences

Topics to include: how countries manage guarantees, integration with budget; criteria for the state to take on risk. Discussion can include guarantees related to PPPs.

Speaker: Mr. Kristoffer Ekström, Guarantees, National Debt Office, Sweden: "Managing Government Guarantees" (15 minutes).

Speaker: Mr. Hans Blommenstein, OECD: "How to Integrate Contingent Liabilities in Public Debt Management Strategies?" (15 minutes).

General discussion (one hour) to be kicked off by two participants (5–10 minutes each) on their country experiences.

3:30–4:00 Coffee Break

Topics to include: Institutional aspects of fiscal risk management: which agency analyzes which risks, and how is the information coordinated and put together? Who is responsible for checking that risks incurred are not excessive?

Speaker: Mr. Jón Blöndal, Deputy Head, Budgeting and Public Expenditure Division, OECD: "Fiscal Risk Management" (10 minutes).

Speaker: Mr. Pål Ulla, Deputy Director General, Budget, Norway: "Management of Fiscal Risks in Norway" (10 minutes).

General discussion (70 minutes) kicked off by brief interventions by 2–4 participants on their own country experiences (5–10 minutes each).

Day Two—Wednesday, October 29, 2008
SESSION IV Current Challenges in Risk Management

Discussion: Current challenges in risk management, which might include: risks from unexpected changes in macroeconomic assumptions or commodity prices (e.g., food and fuel prices); risks from possible bailouts (banking system, public enterprises, and subnational governments—where is the boundary of the public sector beyond which intervention is no longer likely or warranted?).

Chair: Mr. Carlo Cottarelli, Incoming Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF.

Speaker: Mr. Lucio Pench (European Commission) to introduce main issues for discussion. "Management of Fiscal Risks: Macroeconomic Scenarios, Contingent Liabilities" (10 minutes).

Speaker: Mr. Lorenzo Codogno, Director General, Economy and Finance Ministry, Italy: "Fiscal Risks in Italy" (10 minutes).

General discussion (70 minutes) kicked off by two other participants to present own country experiences on current challenges in risk management.

10.30–11:00 Coffee Break
FINAL PANEL DISCUSSION Fiscal Risks—Main Lessons For European Policy Makers

Topics will include: Countries’ motivation/interest in fiscal risk disclosure. Is it all worth it? What risks should the public sector take on, and how should they be managed? What are the operational best practices and future challenges in risk management?

Panelists: Mr. Benoît Chevauchez (Professeur de Finances Publiques, Sciences Po et HEC and Contrôleur Général Economique et Financier); Mr. Moritz Kraemer (Managing Director EMEA, Standard and Poor’s), "S&P's Approach to Factor Financial Sector Contingent Liabilities into Sovereign Ratings"; Mr. Luc Leruth (Paris Office, IMF); and Mrs. Teresa Ter-Minassian (FAD Director, IMF)