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Adjustment under a Currency Peg: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania during the Global Finanacial Crisis 2008-09by Catriona Purfield Christoph Rosenberg
The paper traces the Baltics' adjustment strategy during the 2008-09 global financial crisis. The abrupt end to the externally-financed domestic demand boom triggered a severe output collapse, bringing per capita income levels back to 2005/06 levels. In response to this shock, the Baltics undertook an internal devaluation that relied on unprecedented fiscal and nominal wage adjustment, steps to preserve financial sector stability as well as complementary efforts to facilitate voluntary private debt restructuring. One-and-half years on, the strategy is making good progress but not yet complete. Confidence in the exchange rate was maintained, the banking system was supported by its parent banks, external imbalances and inflation have largely disappeared, competitiveness is improving, and fiscal deficits are gradually being brought back towards pre-crisis levels. However, amid record levels of unemployment, further reforms are needed to foster a return to more balanced growth, fiscal sustainability, and a healthier banking system
This publication examines the application of the balance sheet approach (BSA) in financial vulnerability analysis of emerging market economies, including its conceptual framework, trends over the past decade including case studies, and related policy issues. This concept is being increasingly used in the IMF's analysis of debt-related vulnerabilities, as evidenced by a growing number of Article IV consultation reports providing applications to individual countries, as well as a large body of academic literature on financial crises and their origins.
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