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Zefeng Chen, Miss Sanaa Nadeem, and Mr. Shanaka J Peiris
In emerging Asia, banks constitute the dominant source of financing consumption and investment, and bank balance sheets comprise large gross FX assets and liabilities. This paper extends the DSGE model of Gertler and Karadi (2011) to incorporate these key features and estimates a panel vector autoregression on ten Asian economies to understand the role of the banking sector in transmitting spillovers from the global financial cycle to small open economies. It also evaluates the effectiveness of foreign exchange intervention (FXI) and other macroeconomic policies in responding to external financing shocks. External financial shocks affect net external liabilities of banks and the exchange rate, leading to changes in credit supply by banks and investment. For example, a capital outflow shock leads to a deprecation that reduces the net worth and intermediation capacity of banks exposed to foreign currency liabilities. In such cases, the exchange rate acts as shock amplifier and sterilized FXI, often deployed by Asian economies, can help cushion the economy. By contrast, with real shocks, the exchange rate serves as a shock absorber, and any FXI that weakens that function can be costly. We also explore the effectiveness of the monetary policy interest rate, macroprudential policies (MPMs) and capital flow management measures (CFMs).
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper discusses interactions between external risks and the New Zealand economy. The current set of external risks has the potential to be extremely damaging to New Zealand, but two factors would likely mitigate the economic impact. First, the flexible exchange rate regime is a reliable shock absorber and automatic stabilizer from the perspective of GDP, although it leads to a rebalancing between the domestic and external sectors in the economy. Second, net migration flows can reduce the negative impact of lower external demand under some circumstances, such as a growth slowdown in Australia. Fiscal policy could also offset some of the short-term costs of adjustment. Fiscal policy can provide stimulus at relatively small and manageable cost to the already-low government debt to GDP ratio. Moreover, at the current juncture, fiscal policy might need to provide the bulk of policy support against negative shocks, as monetary policy might be ineffective if has become constrained by an effective lower bound on the monetary policy interest rate.
Sonja Davidovic, Ms. Elena Loukoianova, Cormac Sullivan, and Hervé Tourpe
The Bali Fintech Agenda highlights 12 principles for policymakers to consider when formulating their approaches to new financial technology (fintech). The agenda aims to harness the potential of fintech while managing associated risks. This paper looks at how some elements of the Bali Fintech Agenda could be used in Pacific island countries, which face significant financial-structural challenges.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents an overview of the financial deepening achievements and challenges in Peru. Although substantial progress has been made on various indicators of financial deepening, Peru lags regional and income peers in several respects. Peru’s overall financial development index is modest, and its stage of financial depth does not fully align with domestic fundamentals. Private credit to GDP at about 40 percent of GDP is one of the lowest in the region, and below the expected level for a country at Peru’s income and population. Studies also show that Peru has a negative gap in the depth and efficiency of financial institutions, which could reflect weak frameworks for obtaining or seizing collateral.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses measures taken to enable timely macroprudential action in Sweden. The Swedish financial supervisory authority has adopted a number of macroprudential measures under its mandates for financial stability and consumer protection. The supervisory authority imposed a loan-to-value limit of 85 percent for new mortgage loans in 2010, with the soundness principle as the legal basis for this measure. Under its financial stability mandate, it also set a floor on risk weights for Swedish mortgages, which was raised from 15 percent to 25 percent in September 2014. Following an expansion of the regulatory toolkit, a range of capital buffers have also been established and subsequently expanded.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses the oil economy, outlook, and risk for Norway. Growth has continued to slow in the mainland economy. At the start of this year, oil prices had dropped by roughly 60 percent from their peak in June 2014 to less than US$40 a barrel. The labor market is feeling the sting of the oil price crash. The krone has weakened substantially along with the decline in oil prices. However, a modest recovery should take root next year. Mainland economy growth should be about 1 percent this year and pick up to close to 1¾ percent in 2017.
Katsiaryna Svirydzenka
There is a vast body of literature estimating the impact of financial development on economic growth, inequality, and economic stability. A typical empirical study approximates financial development with either one of two measures of financial depth – the ratio of private credit to GDP or stock market capitalization to GDP. However, these indicators do not take into account the complex multidimensional nature of financial development. The contribution of this paper is to create nine indices that summarize how developed financial institutions and financial markets are in terms of their depth, access, and efficiency. These indices are then aggregated into an overall index of financial development. With the coverage of 183 countries on annual frequency between 1980 and 2013, the database should offer a useful analytical tool for researchers and policy makers.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper takes stock of poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Poverty has receded in the DRC over the last decade on the back of gradual stabilization in the security and political situation, strong economic growth, and sharp decline in inflationary pressures. Most social indicators also improved during the period. However, poverty remains pervasive with a level still among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and DRC will likely not achieve any of the Millennium Developments Goals by 2015. Policy actions should focus on fostering the development of labor-intensive sector, increasing social spending, and redirecting public resources to the poorest regions of the country.
Mr. Sergio Sola and Mr. Geremia Palomba
This paper examines the determinants of sub-national governments risk premia using secondary market data for U.S., Canada, Australia and Germany. It finds that, as for central governments, fiscal fundamentals matter in the pricing of risk premia, and sub-national governments with higher public debt and larger deficits pay higher premia. However, this relationship is not uniform across countries. Market pricing mechanisms are less effective in presence of explicit or implicit guarantees from the central government. Specifically, we show that in pricing risk premia of sub-national governments, markets are less responsive to fiscal fundamental when sub-national governments depend on high transfers from the central government, i.e., when there is some form of implicit guarantee from the center. Using primary market data, the paper also looks at whether transfer dependency from the central government influences sub-national governments’ incentive to access markets. We show that high transfer dependency lowers the probability of sub-national governments to borrow on capital markets.