The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a massive global economic downturn. In response, national and international authorities around the globe launched an unprecedented set of policy measures to cushion the economic impact of the crisis and to support the recovery process. To take stock of the range and effectiveness of various support measures, especially the ones aimed at the corporate sector, as well to discuss the challenges ahead, the JVI designed and coordinated a new course on Policy Support to the Private Sector. The course was delivered from September 27 to October 1, 2021, with significant input from a range of partners: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Central Bank, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank. The course brought together participants from eight countries, mostly from the JVI region, with a wide range of experiences on various aspects of designing and implementing policy support measures.
The course started with an overview of the macroeconomic policy measures deployed in various countries. It then delved into various aspects of the policy support to the corporate sector, with a focus on challenges related to the modifications and withdrawal of support in the period ahead. Issues covered in this part included the assessment of the viability of companies receiving liquidity and solvency support to avoid the emergence of "zombie" firms, the role of the legal rulebook and especially bankruptcy procedures, as well as the role of financial sector regulation and supervision. The course also covered the design of future support measures, as well as the implications of increased state ownership in the economy. Participants also had an opportunity to present their country experiences and to review and exchange on the lessons learned.
The JVI Annual Lecture Will Corporate Bankruptcies Rise Following the Pandemic, and What Can Be Done About it? was the last session of the course. This panel discussion allowed participants to hear leading policymakers discuss the key issues related to the course, as well as their plans to deal with challenges covered in the course.
The next delivery of this course will take place from May 30 to June 3, 2022.
Rilind Kabashi, Economist, Joint Vienna Institute