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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The April 2020 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) assesses the financial stability challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Chapter 1 describes how financial conditions tightened abrubtly with the onset of the pandemic, with risk asset prices dropping sharply as investors rushed to safety and liquidity. It finds that a further tightening of financial conditions may expose vulnerabilities, including among nonbank financial institutions, and that bank resilience may be tested if economic and financial market stresses rise. Vulnerabilities in global risky corporate credit markets, including weakened credit quality of borrowers, looser underwriting standards, liquidity risks at investment funds, and increased interconnectedness, could generate losses at nonbank financial institutions in a severe adverse scenario, as discussed in Chapter 2. The pandemic led to an unprecedented and sharp reversal of portfolio flows, highlighting the challenges of managing flows in emerging and frontier markets. Chapter 3 shows that global financial conditions tend to influence portfolio flows more during surges than in normal times, that stronger domestic fundamentals can help mitigate outflows, and that greater foreign participation in local currency bond markets may increase price volatility where domestic markets lack depth. Beyond the immediate challenges of COVID-19, Chapter 4 explores the profitability pressures that banks are likely to face over the medium term in an environment where low interest rates are expected to persist. Chapter 5 takes a broader perspective on physical risks associated with climate change. It finds that these risks do not appear to be reflected in global equity valuations and that stress testing and better disclosure of exposures to climatic hazards are essential to better assess physical risk.

Mr. Eugenio M Cerutti, Mr. Maurice Obstfeld, and Haonan Zhou
For about three decades until the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), Covered Interest Parity (CIP) appeared to hold quite closely—even as a broad macroeconomic relationship applying to daily or weekly data. Not only have CIP deviations significantly increased since the GFC, but potential macrofinancial drivers of the variation in CIP deviations have also become significant. The variation in CIP deviations seems to be associated with multiple factors, not only regulatory changes. Most of these do not display a uniform importance across currency pairs and time, and some are associated with possible temporary considerations (such as asynchronous monetary policy cycles).
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper identifies policies to increase productivity in the East, reduce regional income disparities, and promote overall income convergence. Achieving this objective will require improving educational attainment and reducing skill mismatches in the East, scaling up public infrastructure to attract investment to less productive regions, and facilitating labor mobility. This paper also discusses female labor participation in Poland and the potential impact on bank profitability of the recently implemented bank asset tax. Poland’s population is aging, yet it has an important underused source of qualified labor—its women. For Poland to unleash its full economic potential, it needs to embrace the vital contribution that women can make to its economy.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This report seeks to help the IMF enhance its effectiveness by identifying major recurring issues from the IEO’s first 20 evaluations and assessing where they stand. The IMF’s core areas of responsibility are surveillance, lending, and capacity development. The aim of this report is to strengthen the follow-up process by focusing on key issues that recurred in IEO evaluations, rather than on specific recommendations on their implementation. The IEO believes that a framework of reviewing and monitoring recurring issues would be useful in establishing incentives for progress, strengthening the Board’s oversight, and providing learning opportunities for the IMF.

Mr. Francis Vitek
This paper analyzes the transmission of shocks and policies among and across the Nordic economies and the rest of the world. This spillover analysis is based on a pair of estimated structural macroeconometric models of the world economy, disaggregated into thirty five national economies. We find that the Nordic economies are heavily exposed to external macroeconomic and financial shocks, but have significant scope to mitigate their domestic macroeconomic impacts through coordinated policy responses, given their high degree of regional integration.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper elaborates findings and discussions of 2013 Cluster Consultation Nordic Regional report. The countries have close economic and financial ties and face some common challenges and shared risks, such as large banking sectors and high household debt. The economic performance of the four continental Nordic economies (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden—Nordic-4) ranks among the advanced economic development circle. It is analyzed that the large Nordic banking systems support relatively high levels of private sector debt. House price developments in the Nordic-4 pose a risk to broader macroeconomic stability in the context of strained household balance sheets.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation examines the performance of Sweden’s fiscal policies to counter effects of global financial crisis. Economic growth in Sweden has been moderate since global financial crisis of 2008–2009. The IMF report posits that with potential growth moderately weaker and the natural rate of unemployment to remain elevated, policies should focus on growth-enhancing reforms, especially in the labor market. It suggests that good policies that secure the soundness of Swedish international banking groups are expected to benefit borrowers not only in Sweden but across the region.