There have been numerous books examining the 2008 financial crisis from either a U.S. or European perspective. Tamim Bayoumi is the first to explain how the Euro crisis and U.S. housing crash were, in fact, parasitically intertwined.
Starting in the 1980s, Bayoumi outlines the cumulative policy errors that undermined the stability of both the European and U.S. financial sectors, highlighting the catalytic role played by European mega banks that exploited lax regulation to expand into the U.S. market and financed unsustainable bubbles on both continents. U.S. banks increasingly sold sub-par loans to under-regulated European and U.S. shadow banks and, when the bubbles burst, the losses whipsawed back to the core of the European banking system. A much-needed, fresh look at the origins of the crisis, Bayoumi’s analysis concludes that policy makers are ignorant of what still needs to be done both to complete the cleanup and to prevent future crises.
Consumer protection and financial literacy are essential pillars of a well functioning and stable financial system. As the global financial crisis demonstrated, inadequate attention to consumer protection and financial literacy can lead to financial instability. Though Shari’ah principles provide a strong foundation for consumer protection, the principles alone cannot provide adequate protection because not all providers are guided by ethical precepts and the practices have deviated from the principles. To safeguard the stability of the Islamic finance industry, consumer protection frameworks that cater to the specifics of Islamic financial products should be an integral part of regulatory frameworks.
Traditional bank competition policy seeks to balance efficiency with incentives to take risk. The main tools are rules guiding entry/exit and consolidation of banks. This paper seeks to refine this view in light of recent changes to financial services provision. Modern banking is largely market-based and contestable. Consequently, banks in advanced economies today have structurally low charter values and high incentives to take risk. In such an environment, traditional policies that seek to affect the degree of competition by focusing on market structure (i.e. concentration) may have limited effect. We argue that bank competition policy should be reoriented to deal with the too-big-to-fail (TBTF) problem. It should also focus on the permissible scope of activities rather than on market structure of banks. And following a crisis, competition policy should facilitate resolution by temporarily allowing higher concentration and government control of banks.
This paper reports in detail on a survey that was circulated to reserve managing central banks of IMF member countries in April 2012. The survey aims to gain further insight into how reserve managers have reacted to the crisis to date. The survey also aims to understand how reserve managers arrive at their strategic asset allocation and how they operate their risk management frameworks in practice. Some of the key themes that emerge from the survey include potential procyclical and counter cyclical behavior by reserve managers, increased focus placed on returns and wide variability across countries in how the currency composition of reserves is derived.
We study the effects of a bank's engagement in trading. Traditional banking is relationship-based: not scalable, long-term oriented, with high implicit capital, and low risk (thanks to the law of large numbers). Trading is transactions-based: scalable, shortterm, capital constrained, and with the ability to generate risk from concentrated positions. When a bank engages in trading, it can use its ‘spare’ capital to profitablity expand the scale of trading. However, there are two inefficiencies. A bank may allocate too much capital to trading ex-post, compromising the incentives to build relationships ex-ante. And a bank may use trading for risk-shifting. Financial development augments the scalability of trading, which initially benefits conglomeration, but beyond some point inefficiencies dominate. The deepending of the financial markets in recent decades leads trading in banks to become increasingly risky, so that problems in managing and regulating trading in banks will persist for the foreseeable future. The analysis has implications for capital regulation, subsidiarization, and scope and scale restrictions in banking.
This study assesses the overall impact on credit of the financial regulatory reforms in Europe, Japan, and the United States. Long-term cost estimates are provided for Basel III capital and liquidity requirements, derivatives reforms, and higher taxes and fees. Overall, average lending rates in the base case would rise by 18 bps in Europe, 8 bps in Japan, and 28 bps in the United States. These results are similar to the official BIS assessments of Basel III and an OECD analysis, but lower as a result of including expense cuts and reductions in the returns required by investors. As a result, they are markedly lower than those of the IIF.
Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff and are published to elicit comment and to further debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues. This Web-only series replaced Staff Position Notes in January 2011.
Mr. Aditya Narain, Ms. Inci Ötker, and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu
The IMF, with the Bank for International Settlements and the Financial Stability Board, has been at the forefront of discussions on reform of the global financial system to reduce the possibility of future crises, as well as to limit the consequences if they do occur. The policy choices are both urgent and challenging, and are complicated by the relationship between sovereign debt and risks to the banking sector. Building a More Resilient Financial Sector describes the key elements of the reform agenda, including tighter regulation and more effective supervision; greater transparency to strengthen market discipline and limit incentives for risk taking; coherent mechanisms for resolution of failed institutions; and effective safety nets to limit the impact on the financial system of institutions viewed as "too big to fail." Finally, the book takes a look ahead at how the financial system is likely to be shaped by the efforts of policymakers and the private sector response.
In an economy à la Diamond and Dybvig (1983), we present an example in which foreign lenders find it profitable to invest in an emerging market if, and only if, the emerging market government imposes taxes on short-term capital inflows. This implies that capital controls that are effective in reducing the vulnerability of emerging markets to financial crises may increase the volume of capital inflows.