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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.
Janko Cizel, Jon Frost, Aerdt G. F. J. Houben, and Peter Wierts
Macroprudential policy is increasingly being implemented worldwide. Its effectiveness in influencing bank credit and its substitution effects beyond banking have been a key subject of discussion. Our empirical analysis confirms the expected effects of macroprudential policies on bank credit, both for advanced economies and emerging market economies. Yet we also find evidence of substitution effects towards nonbank credit, especially in advanced economies, reducing the policies’ effect on total credit. Quantity restrictions are particularly potent in constraining bank credit but also cause the strongest substitution effects. Policy implications indicate a need to extend macroprudential policy beyond banking, especially in advanced economies.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the risks of low growth and inflation over the medium term for the euro area. It examines the consequences of longer term trends that predate the crisis and the progress made in addressing the crisis legacies of high unemployment and debt. The paper illustrates, in a downside scenario, how low potential growth and crisis legacies leave the euro area vulnerable to the risks of stagnation. The weak medium-term prospect and limited policy space leave the euro area vulnerable to shocks that could lead to a prolonged period of low growth and inflation. Model simulations suggest that a modest shock to investor confidence could push up risk premia and real interest rates, as policy space is constrained at the zero lower bound and fiscal policy space to provide stimulus is limited. Moreover, the lingering crisis legacies of high debt and unemployment could amplify the original shocks, creating a bad feedback loop and keeping the economy stuck in equilibrium of stagnation.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews recent developments in the financing of the Fund’s concessional lending and debt relief since the October 2014 Update. It presents the latest available data including the new commitments of loan resources to the PRGT and the sources of initial financing for the newly created CCR Trust, replacing the PCDR Trust. It also discusses the PRGT’s potential self sustaining capacity in the context of longer term projections of the demand for concessional lending and robustness to alternative scenarios.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes Spain’s sustainable growth rate. It sheds some light on Spain’s medium-term growth prospects by looking into the key factors driving potential growth, both in the past and likely in the future, and international experience of countries in the aftermath of financial crisis. The paper suggests Spain is likely to face a long period of moderate growth (about 1½–2 percent) and high unemployment, but policy action—especially that directed toward reducing structural unemployment and raising productivity—could lead to much better outcomes.