International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Past experience with financial crises places systemic risk oversight at the core of Korea’s approach to the financial system. The Korean authorities have amassed over a decade of experience with macroprudential policies. They have put in place rigorous and sophisticated processes for risk monitoring. They publish first-rate analysis. And they have actively developed measures to mitigate risks to the financial system—notably from FX exposures, and from household indebtedness—as circumstances have changed. But their system has evolved to be highly complex, which poses challenges for coordination, communication, and transparency; moreover, their toolkit needs to be extended. These areas should be the focus of efforts to strengthen the policy framework.
Financial crises are traditionally analyzed as purely economic phenomena. The political economy of financial booms and busts remains both under-emphasized and limited to isolated episodes. This paper examines the political economy of financial policy during ten of the most infamous financial booms and busts since the 18th century, and presents consistent evidence of pro-cyclical regulatory policies by governments. Financial booms, and risk-taking during these episodes, were often amplified by political regulatory stimuli, credit subsidies, and an increasing light-touch approach to financial supervision. The regulatory backlash that ensues from financial crises can only be understood in the context of the deep political ramifications of these crises. Post-crisis regulations do not always survive the following boom. The interplay between politics and financial policy over these cycles deserves further attention. History suggests that politics can be the undoing of macro-prudential regulations.
Stock markets play a key role in corporate financing in Asia. However, despite their increasing importance in terms of size and cross-border investment activity, the region’s markets are reputed to be more “idiosyncratic” and less reliant on economic and corporate fundamentals in their pricing. Using a model that draws on international asset pricing and economic theory, as well as accounting literature, we find evidence of greater idiosyncratic influences in the pricing of Asia’s stock markets, compared to their G-7 counterparts, beyond the identified systematic factors and local fundamentals. We also show proof of a significant relationship between the strength of implementation of securities regulations and the “noise” in stock pricing, which suggests that improvements in the regulation of securities markets in Asia could enhance the role of stock markets as stable and reliable sources of financing into the future.
Cheng Hoon Lim, Mr. Rishi S Ramchand, Mrs. Helen W Wagner, and Mr. Xiaoyong Wu
This paper surveys institutional arrangements for macroprudential policy in Asia. Central banks in Asia typically have a financial stability mandate, and play a key role in the macroprudential framework. Smaller and more open economies with prudential regulation inside the central bank tend to have institutional arrangements that give the central bank a leading role. In larger and more complex economies where prudential regulation is outside the central bank, the financial stability mandate is usually shared with other agencies and the government tends to play a leading role. Domestic policy coordination is typically performed by a financial stability committee/other coordination body while cross-border cooperation is largely governed by Memoranda of Understanding.
The FY 11–13 medium-term budget (MTB) presented in this paper brings to a close the three-year restructuring effort that began with the FY 09–11 MTB. It secures savings of $100 million in real terms while providing sufficient financing for structural operations and the Fund’s response to the global financial crisis. This budget has been crafted in a period of uncertainty regarding the final scope and duration of the financial crisis as well as the ongoing responsibilities that the Fund may retain even as the crisis unwinds. There is also uncertainty about new responsibilities that may result as a review of the Fund’s mandate is undertaken. Addressing these items will be part of the work agenda to be undertaken in the coming year.
In a rational-expectations framework, we model depositors' confidence as a function of the probability of future bank bailouts. We analyze the effect of alternative bank bailout policies on depositors' confidence in an emerging market setting, where liquidity shortages of banks are revealed sequentially and governments cannot credibly commit to bailing out all potentially distressed banks. Our findings suggest that allowing early bank failures and using available liquidity for credible commitments to later bailouts can better boost confidence than early bailouts. This conclusion arises because with a high chance of liquidity shortage in the future, depositors may lose confidence and hence withdraw deposits even from potentially sound banks. Such a policy of late bailouts is likely to receive political support when a full bailout needs to be financed by taxation. The logic of late bailout remains valid even when banks may hide their distress or when closures of early distressed banks create contagion.