What is the precise role of reference rates? Why does it matter if LIBOR was manipulated? To
address these questions, I analyze the use of reference rates in floating-rate loans and interestrate
derivatives in the context of lending relationships. I develop a simple framework
combining maturity transformation with three key frictions which generate meaningful funding
risk and a rationale for risk management. Reference rates like LIBOR mitigate contractual
incompleteness, facilitating management of funding risk. As bank funding costs move with
bank credit risk, it makes sense for the reference rate to have a bank credit risk component.
Manipulation can add noise, reducing the usefulness of reference rates for this purpose.
This paper discusses key issues related to the conduct of monetary policy in countries that have Islamic banks. It describes the macrofinancial background and monetary policy frameworks where Islamic banks typically operate, and discusses the monetary transmission mechanism in economies where Islamic and conventional banking coexist. Most economies with Islamic banks also have conventional banks and this calls for a comprehensive approach to monetary policy. At the same time, a dual approach to monetary policy should be considered whenever the Islamic segment of the financial system is not as developed as the conventional one. The paper tries to shed light on potential spillovers between conventional and Islamic financial systems, and proposes specific recommendations on the design of Islamic monetary policy operations and for facilitating monetary transmission through the Islamic financial system.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The SDR interest rate and the rate of remuneration are equal to a weighted average of interest rates on specified short-term domestic obligations in the money markets of the five countries whose currencies constitute the SDR valuation basket (the U.S. dollar, weighted 39 percent; deutsche mark, 21 percent; Japanese yen, 18 percent; French franc, 11 percent; and U.K. pound, 11 percent). The rate of remuneration is the rate of return on members’ remunerated reserve tranche positions. The rate of charge, a proportion (currently 107 percent) of the SDR interest rate, is the cost of using the IMF’s financial resources. All three rates are computed each Friday for the following week. The basic rates of remuneration and charge are further adjusted to reflect burden-sharing arrangements. For the latest rates, call (202) 623-7171 or check the IMF website (www.imf.org/external/np/tre/sdr/sdr.htm).
This paper outlines the recent progress in developing Islamic financial instruments for the management of monetary policy and public borrowing requirements and provides details on new instruments currently being developed in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Sudan. The paper also touches on the institutional arrangements for interbank market operations and the design of effective central bank credit facilities that are needed under Islamic banking to support the development and operation of these new instruments.
This paper begins by describing the basic concepts of Islamic banking, focusing on the issue of elimination of the rate of interest from the system. Islam expressly prohibits a fixed or predetermined return on financial transactions but allows uncertain rates of return deriving from risk-taking activities. Consequently, a banking structure in which the return for the use of money fluctuates according to actual profits made from such use would be consistent with the precepts of Islam. The paper concludes that from an economic standpoint the principal difference between the Islamic and the traditional banking systems is not that one allows interest payments and the other does not. The more relevant distinction is that the Islamic system treats deposits as shares and accordingly does not guarantee their nominal value, whereas in the traditional system such deposits are guaranteed either by the banks or by the government.
This paper studies the role of domestic and foreign savings in financing capital formation in 19 industrial countries during the years after World War II. The authors' interpretation of the statistical evidence is that there is very little support for the view that, over the medium term, goods and services freed by savings in one industrial country are systematically made available through current account imbalances to finance investment in physical capital in other industrial countries. The study also finds little support for the view that the integration of financial capital markets in recent years has altered the relationships among domestic savings, investment, and current account imbalances in industrial countries. The evidence suggests that changes in net foreign assets, and the associated current account imbalances, were no more sensitive to cross-country differences in rates of return on physical capital in the ten years ending in 1981 than they had been in the 1950s, when extensive capital controls and trade restrictions hampered the economic integration of the industrial countries.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights the sources of payments problems in less developed countries. Growth in the industrial countries has a direct impact on the current account of the developing countries through its influence on both the prices and volumes of their exports. An increase in the real effective exchange rate is clearly a fundamental determinant of a deteriorating current account since, other things being equal, it tends to raise domestic demand for imports and to reduce foreign demand for exports.