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Ms. Eva H. G. Hüpkes, Mr. Michael W Taylor, and Mr. Marc G Quintyn

Abstract

Policymakers are often reluctant to grant independence to the agencies that regulate and supervise the financial sector because of the fear that these agencies, with their wide-ranging responsibilities and powers, could become a law unto themselves. This pamphlet describes mechanisms for making regulatory agencies accountable not only to the government but also to the industry they supervise and the public at large, with examples from a range of countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
"Latin America: An End to Boom and Bust?" covers prospects in that region, which has managed to sustain a decade of prosperity after a history of boom and bust cycles. In our cover story, Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department, says Latin America has the potential to become an increasingly important global player. But boosting productivity and competitiveness remain key policy challenges and the fruits of success must be more broadly shared. Other articles on our cover theme look at the prospects for Brazil, inequality in Latin America, and how to raise productivity. Turning from Latin America, we interview former IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus, former IMF MD and now head of a group of luminaries tasked with generating ideas on how to make the global monetary system more stable in the wake of the world financial crisis. This issue of F&D also features articles on financial market cycles, public investment in infrastructure, whether to worry about inflation or deflation, democracy and liberalization, how to manage health care spending, and rising food prices. People in Economics profiles growth guru Robert Solow, winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize in economics. Our regular Back to Basics feature explains financial services. Data Spotlight looks at how access to financial services is growing in developing countries; and Picture This highlights the IMF's new database of public debt since 1880.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
Mr. Garry J. Schinasi

Abstract

Spurred by advances in information and computer technologies, financial liberalization and innovation took off inthe late 1970s. Although the changes in financial markets have been beneficial overall, our understanding of the new risks to financial stability lags behind, as demonstrated by the financial crises of the past couple of decades. The study of international financial stability - a public good - is still in its infancy. This pamphlet, aimed at stimulating further debate on the subject, proposes a definition of financial stability and a broad framework for safeguarding it without inhibiting its dynamic development or limiting its benefits.