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Mr. Marco Arena, Tingyun Chen, Mr. Seung M Choi, Ms. Nan Geng, Cheikh A. Gueye, Mr. Tonny Lybek, Mr. Evan Papageorgiou, and Yuanyan Sophia Zhang
Macroprudential policy in Europe aligns with the objective of limiting systemic risk, namely the risk of widespread disruption to the provision of financial services that is caused by an impairment of all or parts of the financial system and that can cause serious negative consequences for the real economy.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the fiscal challenges in Lithuania. Lithuania’s fiscal position has strengthened in recent years. However, medium term challenges are significant given the severe demographic pressures from population aging and net emigration. Lithuania’s net financial worth of the general government is relatively strong compared with other countries in the region although contingent liabilities from the pension system are sizable. The recent reform of the pension system will help make the system more fiscally sustainable. Upcoming reforms should be carefully designed, considering their trade-offs, to ensure social sustainability; reduce old-age poverty; and limit adverse impact on labor supply and informality.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note explains the stress testing approach of the 2016 Financial Sector Assessment Program in assessment of risk in the Swedish financial sector and provides the results of the tests. Stress tests covered three major segments of the domestic financial sector. The resilience of the Swedish banking system was tested against solvency, liquidity, and contagion risks. The solvency stress test suggests that banks would be resilient to severe economic distress. Bank liquidity stress tests suggest that banks could withstand severe funding and market liquidity shocks, but there are pockets of vulnerability. The overall stress testing exercise suggests that there is room for improvement in the individual components of authorities’ stress testing framework.
Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Mr. Ralph Chami, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, and Anne Oeking
Despite welfare and poverty-reducing benefits for recipient households, remittance inflows have been shown to entail macroeconomic challenges; producing Dutch Disease-type effects through their upward (appreciation) pressure on real exchange rates, reducing the quality of institutions, delaying fiscal adjustment, and ultimately having an indeterminate effect on long-run growth. The paper explores an additional challenge, for monetary policy. Although they expand bank balance sheets, providing a stable flow of interest-insensitive funding, remittances tend to increase banks’ holdings of liquid assets. This both reduces the need for an interbank market and severs the link between the policy rate and banks’ marginal costs of funds, thus shutting down a major transmission channel. We develop a stylized model based on asymmetric information and a lack of transparent borrowers and undertake econometric analysis providing evidence that increased remittance inflows are associated with a weaker transmission. As independent monetary policy becomes impaired, this result is consistent with earlier findings that recipient countries tend to favor fixed exchange rate regimes.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines the need of reformation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) in the Slovakia. It is suggested that in light of experience gathered so far, FRA modifications should be considered. Clear guidelines regarding a cost-effective cash management strategy should be established. Debt brake level should be kept at the current limits, rather than lowered over time, to avoid unduly eroding fiscal space. Policies should aim to maintain a safe margin below debt thresholds to allow fiscal policy to play a counter-cyclical role in the future during downturns. Adjustment measures should be more gradual and the bias toward spending cuts should be lessened or removed.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses results of banking sector stress tests on Norway. The Norwegian banking sector is generally well prepared to cope with possible external shocks, but imbalances have built up in recent years and could pose challenges. The stress-testing exercise included a comprehensive analysis of solvency and liquidity risks in the banking sector. The stress test results show that while the banking sector is highly resilient, it could experience challenges in case of severe macroeconomic shocks, as assumed in the adverse scenarios. The stress tests also illustrate that the banking system remains vulnerable to liquidity risks, due in part to scarce liquidity buffers in Norwegian krone.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note reviews linkages and interconnectedness in the Norwegian financial system for Norway. Norway’s banks have important connections with global financial centers, but regional links are also important. Norwegian banks are very dependent on global financial centers as sources of funding and to hedge currency risks. Cross-sectoral exposures of Norway’s banks, insurance companies, and real estate companies are significant and extend beyond the Nordic region. The authorities are encouraged to expand their current monitoring efforts of crossborder and cross-sectoral exposures of the Norwegian financial sector, and to conduct regional stress tests. For this effect, the authorities can resort to market data and, if available, to balance sheet data of exposures at the individual financial institution level.
International Monetary Fund
The issue of using monetary policy for financial stability purposes is hotly contested. The crisis was a reminder that price stability is not sufficient for financial stability, financial crises are costly, and policy should aim to decrease the likelihood of crises, not only rely on dealing with their repercussions once they occur. It is clear that well-targeted prudential policies (including micro and macroprudential regulation and supervision) should be pursued actively to attenuate the buildup of financial risks. The question is whether monetary policy should be altered to contain financial stability risks. Should it lend a hand by temporarily raising interest rates more than warranted by price and output stability objectives? Keeping rates persistently higher is also possible, but more costly.
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.