Sovereign debt crises coincide with deep recessions. I propose a model of sovereign debt that rationalizes large contractions in economic activity via an aggregate-demand amplification mechanism. The mechanism also sheds new light on the response of consumption to sovereign risk, which I document in the context of the Eurozone crisis. By explicitly separating the decisions of households and the government, I examine the interaction between sovereign risk and precautionary savings. When a default is likely, households anticipate its negative consequences and cut consumption for self-insurance reasons. Such shortages in aggregate spending worsen economic conditions through nominal wage rigidities and boost default incentives, restarting the vicious cycle. I calibrate the model to Spain in the 2000s and find that about half of the output contraction is caused by default risk. More generally, sovereign risk exacerbates volatility in consumption over time and across agents, creating large and unequal welfare costs even if default does not materialize.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Danish authorities’ efforts to strengthen cross-border anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) supervision continue to gather momentum. Since the Fund’s publication of a Selected Issues Paper on this subject in June 20192, the Danish authorities have made significant progress, including by conducting or participating in three multinational on-site inspections of banks; developing a new institutional risk assessment model; issuing an AML/CFT on-site inspection manual; and, via Act No. 1563 (2019), amending several pieces of legislation so as to bolster the monitoring and enforcement powers of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA), establish additional reporting requirements for the private sector, and stiffen the penalties for violations of AML/CFT obligations.
Considering the Danske Bank case and in the context of a highly integrated Nordic-Baltic financial sector, this Selected Issues paper compares the money laundering (ML) threats and related supervisory vulnerabilities facing the region’s largest economies, highlights Denmark’s ongoing efforts to address those vulnerabilities, notes critical next steps, and provides recommendations aimed at maintaining the country’s current momentum for reform. The paper finds that Denmark has taken important steps to strengthen its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) supervision over the last two years—including via amendments to the AML Act, a significant increase in supervisory resources, and a concomitant increase in on-site inspections—and that these steps represent relevant and necessary responses to the ML risks facing Denmark. The key is therefore to maintain and build on the momentum Denmark has already established. The skills of newly hired inspectors will take time to build, the elaboration of a comprehensive institutional risk assessment model and AML/CFT supervisory manual will take time to complete and strengthened working relationships with foreign counterparts will take time to establish and operationalize.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note discusses significance of macroprudential policies for Denmark. Macroprudential policy seeks to contain the buildup of macrofinancial imbalances associated with credit booms and asset price bubbles, a function which is particularly important in Denmark, where the space for monetary policy action is limited. This note provides an analysis of existing frameworks used in Denmark for identifying systemic risk of both structural and cyclical nature. The note also suggests additional tools that the authorities could use to further enhance their capacity to evaluate systemic risks.
To showcase their increasing focus on financial stability, many central banks and other institutions have started publishing regular reports on financial stability. The paper presents a survey of the available financial stability reports, and proposes a framework for assessing such documents. It illustrates how the framework can be implemented, and uses the findings to identify prevalent practices, recent trends, and areas for improvement.
Mrs. Poonam Gupta, Mr. Thierry Tressel, and Ms. Enrica Detragiache
This paper considers how a comprehensive set of factors relates to financial sector performance in low-income countries (LICs). It finds that corruption and inflation are associated with a shallower and less efficient financial system, while legal origin and characteristics of the supervisory and regulatory framework have no significant relationship with performance. Moreover, better contract enforcement and information about borrowers are associated with more private sector credit. Some results are surprising. Countries with more foreign bank penetration seem to have shallower and not necessarily more efficient financial sectors, while a larger presence of state-owned banks is correlated with more bank deposits and lower overhead costs, even after controlling for market size and concentration. Although these relationships are robust, more research is needed to ascertain the direction of causality and identify channels of transmission before deriving policy implications.
Mr. Jian-Ye Wang, Mr. Yo Kikuchi, Mr. Sidhartha Choudhury, and Mr. Mario Mansilla
This paper assesses the issues of government involvement in international trade finance stemming from the recent changes in global financial markets. This study is based on discussions with representatives of export credit agencies during the period from October 2003 to May 2004. A survey of 27 agencies provided valuable insights. Financial flows facilitated by official export credit agencies are large in comparison with official development assistance and gross lending by international financial institutions to developing countries. However, the importance of officially supported trade finance has been declining relative to the rapid expansion of world trade and total capital flows to developing countries. The study highlights the key challenges facing official export credit agencies, including complementing the private sector, facilitating financing to low-income countries while helping maintain these countries’ debt sustainability, and playing a positive role in the area of trade finance in international efforts to address emerging market financial crises.
The paper's central theme is that where a financial crisis emerges, regional supervisors should have systems in place to effectively respond to their country-specific crises and-in the case of foreign operations and financial conglomerates-to collaborate comprehensively with other supervisory agencies and respective ministries to avert a regional crisis or address the immediate crisis at hand. For financial institutions to expand across borders without undermining regional and global financial stability, supervisory agencies must develop the capacity to collaboratively and collectively handle crises.