Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
November 2001
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© 2001 International Monetary Fund

Production: IMF Graphics Section

Cover design: Lai Oy Louie

Typesetting: Alicia Etchebarne-Bourdin

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Guidelines for public debt management/prepared by the staffs of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 9781589060456 (alk. paper)

1. Debts, Public. I. International Monetary Fund. II. World Bank.

HJ8015 .G685 2001

352.4’5—dc21 2001039642

Price: US$22.00

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International Monetary Fund

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Washington, DC 20431, USA

Tel.: (202) 623-7430

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The World Bank


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Tel.: (800) 645-7247

Telefax: (703) 661-1501




A government’s debt portfolio is usually the largest financial portfolio in the country. It often contains complex financial structures and can create substantial balance sheet risk for the government. Large and poorly structured debt portfolios also make governments more vulnerable to financial and economic shocks and often have been a major factor in economic crises.

These Guidelines are designed to help governments strengthen the quality of their public debt management. They summarize areas in which is widespread agreement on elements of sound debt management practice. As such, they are intended to help governments identify appropriate debt management reforms and areas in which they can build capacity.

The Guidelines were initially requested by the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). This request was endorsed by the Financial Stability Forum. The IMFC believed that the Guidelines could help to strengthen risk management and governance in the public sector, improve the efficiency of government domestic debt markets, and assist governments in managing the effects of volatility in the international monetary and financial system.

Debt management experts from many countries participated in the preparation of the Guidelines. Government debt managers from around 30 countries commented on an initial draft. Over 300 representatives from 122 countries attended five conferences on the Guidelines and provided feedback before they were finalized.

The Guidelines are currently available on the websites of the IMF and World Bank in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.1

Stanley Fischer

Former First Deputy Managing Director

International Monetary Fund

Jeffrey Goldstein

Managing Director

The World Bank


The Guidelines for Public Debt Management were produced by Robert Price, Piero Ugolini, and Mark Zelmer of the International Monetary Fund and by Graeme Wheeler of the World Bank. Valuable feedback and suggestions for improving the Guidelines were obtained from national debt management experts from around the world, and from Executive Directors and staff within the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. In particular, Stefan Ingves, V. Sundararajan, and Tomas Balino of the Fund, and Larry Promisel and Manuel Conthe of the World Bank provided invaluable comments.

The authors are very appreciative of the contribution of the many government debt managers and central bankers who participated in the five regional conferences that were held during the last quarter of 2000, and especially those national representatives who presented papers.

Particular thanks are also due to the following institutions who co-hosted these debt management conferences: the Arab Monetary Fund; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; The National Treasury of South Africa; the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; and the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; as well as to the Governm ents of Sweden and Switzerland, who provided financial support to the conference held in Johannesburg.

Thanks to Sean M. Culhane of the External Relations Department of the IMF and to Craig Carter of the World Bank, who managed the production of this publication.

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