Abstract

The year 2001 has yet again demonstrated how resilient the international financial system was in the face of a number of serious challenges. In chronological order, the past year saw the continuing deflation of the telecom, media, and technology (TMT) bubble across global markets, the onset of a recession in the United States amid a synchronized global slowdown, a financial crisis in Turkey, the terrorist attacks on September 1 1, the record number of bankruptcies, and the default by Argentina after a long and drawn-out crisis. Throughout these events, several of which represented serious problems requiring prompt attention by the appropriate authorities, the international financial system has shown remarkable resilience. This capacity to absorb shocks has been bolstered by the robustness of the infrastructure of the financial system and the key players in it; the vigilance and ready action of the financial and monetary authorities to ensure the smooth functioning of the system, including through the timely provision of liquidity support; and the increasingly discriminating investment behavior of market participants. Going forward, this resilience would again be tested if a global economic recovery is subdued. However, the starting conditions this year would be weaker than those at the beginning of 2001.