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Jihad Dagher
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.
International Monetary Fund
In its April 2009 Communiqué, the IMFC called for a prompt start to the Fourteenth General Review of Quotas so that it is completed by January 2011--some two years ahead of schedule. The IMFC noted that the review is expected to result in increases in the quota shares of dynamic economies, particularly in the share of emerging market and developing countries as a whole. The IMFC also looked forward to further work by the Executive Board on elements of the new quota formula that can be improved before the formula is used again, and noted that this work should start before the 2009 Annual Meetings.
International Monetary Fund
There is now widespread recognition that addressing quota and voice imbalances across the membership is essential for preserving the effectiveness of the Fund and its credibility as a cooperative institution. As noted in the Managing Director’s Report on Implementing the Medium-Term Strategy,2 members’ quotas have become increasingly out of line with countries’ economic weight in the global economy. In addition, the declining role of basic votes since the Fund was established has weakened the voice of smaller developing countries.
Mr. Arvind Subramanian, Mr. Francesco Trebbi, and Mr. Dani Rodrik
We estimate the respective contributions of institutions, geography, and trade in determining cross-country income levels using recently developed instruments for institutions and trade. Our results indicate that the quality of institutions "trumps" everything else. Controlling for institutions, geography have at best weak direct effects on incomes, although it has a strong indirect effect through institutions. Similarly, controlling for institutions, trade has a negative, albeit, insignificant direct effect on income, although trade too has a positive effect on institutional quality. We relate our results to recent literature, and where differences exist, trace their origins to choices on samples, specification, and instrumentation.