Governor Talk - Croatia, Asset Purchase Programs in Emerging Markets—Yes, We Can!

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Moderator

Alfred Kammer

Director European Department, IMF

 

Alfred Kammer is the Director of the European Department at the International Monetary Fund since August 2020. In this capacity, he oversees the IMF’s work with Europe.

Mr. Kammer was previously the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Managing Director, advising the Managing Director on strategic and operational issues and overseeing operations for the senior management team; Deputy Director of the Strategy, Policy and Review Department, overseeing the work on Fund strategy and surveillance policy; Deputy Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, overseeing regional economic developments and financial sector issues; Director of the Office of Technical Assistance Management, advising management on technical assistance operations and overseeing fundraising and global partnerships for capacity building; and Advisor to the Deputy Managing Director. Mr. Kammer also served as resident representative of the IMF in Russia. Since joining the IMF, Mr. Kammer worked with countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and on a wide range of policy and strategic issues.

Speakers

Boris Vujčić

Governor, Croatian National Bank

 

Boris Vujčić holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Zagreb. He has also received diplomas in Economics from the Montpellier University (France) and was a pre-doctoral PhD Fulbright student at the Michigan State University. He joined the Croatian National Bank in 1997, and was Director of the Research Department for three years before becoming Deputy Governor in 2000, a position to which he was re-appointed in 2006.

In July 2012, Mr Vujčić became Governor of the Croatian National Bank for a six-year term of office and was re-appointed for another six-year term of office in July 2018. Mr Vujčić has been a Deputy Chief Negotiator in Republic of Croatia’s negotiations with the European Union 2005-2012. He was also a member of the Global Development Network (GDN) Board in the same period, 2005-2012. He is a Member of the Steering Committee of the ESRB, since 2016, a Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Vienna Initiative, since 2016, and a Member of the General Council of the ECB, since 2013.

Mr Vujčić has received rewards as the best governor in Central and Eastern Europe by Emerging Markets magazine, as well as for the best world governor by The Banker (Financial Times), and recently he was rewarded with the Lamfalussy Award for lifetime achievement in the field of finance.

Mr Vujčić’s fields of expertise are macro and monetary economics, international finance and labor economics.

Report

Key Points:

  • Focus. When the COVID-crisis hit, several emerging markets (EMs) introduced asset purchase programs (APPs) for the first-time. Croatia successfully deployed APPs in early 2021 to stabilize financial markets. The APP, at around 5.5 percent of GDP, was the second largest among EMs. Ample reserves and an ECB swap line helped in enhancing the APPs effectiveness. The Talk focused on Croatia’s experience with APPs and lessons learned, including on triggers for introducing APP policies, limitations, and optimal exit strategies.
  • Conclusions.  APP policies can be an effective tool for EMs to addresses risks, including mitigating market dysfunction and liquidity constraints. They are effective when temporary and limited to stated objectives, with continuous balancing of financial stability. It is also critical to safeguard CB independence and implement transparent communication.

Quotes:

“The longer APPs last, the higher the risk that both the governments and markets become highly dependent on these policies, and the more difficult the exits.” Boris Vujčić

“APPs can be a useful tool to mitigate specific constraints. The recipe for that is to safeguard CB independence, while restricting unsustainable budget deficits, transparent communication, and limiting APPs to stated objectives.” Alfred Kammer

Contributor: Mentor Mehmedi

Photos