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Mr. Ashok Vir Bhatia, Ms. Srobona Mitra, Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Luiza Antoun de Almeida, Cristina Cuervo, Mr. Andre O Santos, and Tryggvi Gudmundsson
This note weighs the merits of a capital market union (CMU) for Europe, identifies major obstacles in its path, and recommends a set of carefully targeted policy actions. European capital markets are relatively small, resulting in strong bank-dependence, and are split sharply along national lines. Results include an uneven playing field in terms of corporate funding costs, the rationing out of collateral-constrained firms, and limited shock absorption. The benefits of integration center on expanding financial choice, ultimately to support capital formation and resilience. Capital market development and integration would support a healthy diversity in European finance. Proceeding methodically, the note identifies three key barriers to greater capital market integration in Europe: transparency, regulatory quality, and insolvency practices. Based on these findings, the note urges three policy priorities, focused on the three barriers. There is no roadblock—such steps should prove feasible without a new grand bargain.
Mr. Jörg Decressin, Mr. Wim Fonteyne, and Mr. Hamid Faruqee

Abstract

By and large, EU financial integration has been a success story. Still, the reform agenda is far from finished. What are the remaining challenges? What are the gains of closer financial market integration? This IMF book tracks the European Union's journey along the path to a single financial market and identifies the challenges and priorities that remain ahead. It pays particular attention to the most recent integration efforts in the European Union following the introduction of the euro. The study looks at the importance of financial integration, in particular for economic growth, the interplay between banks and markets, and equity market integration. It closely examines the relationship between financial integration and financial stability. This interaction presents the European Union with a challenge, but also with the opportunity to play a pioneering role in developing a regional approach to financial stability that could provide lessons for the rest of the world.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus recently spoke with the editors of the IMF Survey about events over the past 13 years, as well as about future developments in the international monetary system and the evolution of the IMF. The interview will be published in two parts—the first, which follows, focuses on developments since 1987. The second part, which looks to the future, will be published in the next issue of the IMF Survey, dated January 10, 2000.