The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
In this paper we explore the properties of the global banking network using cross-border bank lending data for 184 countries over 1978-2009. Specifically, we analyze financial interconnectedness using network metrics of centrality, connectivity, and clustering. We document a relatively unstable global banking network, with structural breaks in network indicators identifying several waves of capital flows. Interconnectedness rankings, especially for borrowers, are relatively volatile over the period. Connectivity tends to fall during and after systemic banking crises and sovereign debt crises. The 2008-09 global financial crisis stands out as an unusually large perturbation to the cross-border banking network.