Since 2008, economic policymakers and researchers have occupied a brave new economic world. Previous consensuses have been upended, former assumptions have been cast into doubt, and new approaches have yet to stand the test of time. Policymakers have been forced to improvise and researchers to rethink basic theory. George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate and one of this volume’s editors, compares the crisis to a cat stuck in a tree, afraid to move. In April 2013, the International Monetary Fund brought together leading economists and economic policymakers to discuss the slowly emerging contours of the macroeconomic future. This book offers their combined insights.
The contributors consider the lessons learned from the crisis and its aftermath. They discuss, among other things, post-crisis questions about the traditional policy focus on inflation; macroprudential tools (which focus on the stability of the entire financial system rather than of individual firms) and their effectiveness; fiscal stimulus, public debt, and fiscal consolidation; and exchange rate arrangements.
This paper analyzes the linkages between capital account liberalization and other policies influencing financial sector stability. Drawing on country experiences, the paper develops an operational framework for sequencing and coordinating capital account liberalization with other policies aimed at maintaining financial sector stability. Based on the general principles, a methodology for sequencing capital account liberalization is presented in this paper. This methodology, which is illustrated by an example, involves an assessment of capital controls and macroeconomic and financial sector vulnerabilities, and the design of a plan for sequencing capital account liberalization with financial sector reforms and other policies. Financial systems that have been weakened by inappropriate government involvement also face additional risks when operating in international financial markets. The absence of significant macroeconomic imbalances and the high level of official international reserves at the outset of the crisis also appear to be important factors preventing a full-blown exchange crisis. Nevertheless, the prolongation of the crisis lowered economic growth and ultimately led to a recession and increased the total cost of the crisis resolution.