By Graeme Wheeler
Government debt management has a long tradition, dating back more than two centuries in some European countries. Since the late 1980's, however, many OECD governments have invested heavily in improving the quality of their debt management practices. In recent years, the topic has received additional attention for its potential role in reducing the vulnerability of emerging economies to financial and economic shocks.Risk is a relative concept and is measured relative to a set of objectives. The authors argue that a government asset and liability management framework offers valuable conceptual insights for managing the risks associated with government debt portfolios and for considering their interface with a wide range of public policy issues. They also argue that prudent risk management requires clear objectives for debt managers, sound institutional and legal framework, appropriate quality assurance procedures and checks and balances, and efficient management information systems.'Sound Practice in Government Debt Management' draws from the experiences of a group of countries that are leaders in the area of government debt management and on the knowledge that the authors have accumulated in advising many governments on their debt management policies and operations. It offers valuable insights to assist government policy-makers in understanding what is involved in implementing sound practice in government debt management.