International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Central Bank of Chile (CBC) has implemented broadly advanced transparency practices. This reflects the CBC’s strong public commitment to transparency, which is anchored in the law and has been designated by the CBC as a strategic objective to fulfill its mandate. This policy has earned the CBC the broad trust of its stakeholders and has paid significant dividends for the CBC in terms of safeguarding its autonomy and ensuring its policy effectiveness.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The institutional framework for Macroprudential Policies (MaPP) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the Hong Kong SAR) is well established. According to the Basic Law, the Government of the Hong Kong SAR shall on its own formulate monetary and financial policies. The Financial Secretary (FS) and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (SFST) are responsible for policies for maintaining the stability and integrity of the financial system of the Hong Kong SAR. The Hong Kong SAR has a sector-based regulatory structure and the responsibilities and tools for safeguarding financial stability are spread across the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and three regulators (namely, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and Insurance Authority (IA)). There are good and well-structured interagency coordination and consultation mechanisms, through the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) and the Financial Stability Committee (FSC), chaired by the FS and the SFST, respectively. Broad coordination between the CFR and government agencies on taxation and housing supply-side policies has also worked well. MaPP and risk assessment are communicated to the public openly and frequently through speeches, press releases and regular publications, including the Half-Yearly Monetary and Financial Stability Report of the HKMA and the Half-yearly Review Report of the Global and Local Securities Markets of the SFC.
Interest rate caps, despite their intended objective of broadening financial inclusion, can have undesirable effects on financial inclusion under certain conditions. This paper examines the effect of microfinance-loan interest rate caps on financial inclusion in Cambodia. Based on a difference-in-difference analysis on bank and microfinance supervisory data, results show some unintended impact on financial inclusion. The cap led to a significant increase in non-interest fees charged on new loans following the introduction of an annual cap. Microfinance borrowers declined immediately, amid an increase in credit growth, as microfinance institutions targeted larger borrowers at the expense of smaller ones. Microfinance institutions, responded differently to the cap, considering their own operation and funding costs, and client base. Two years after the cap, institutions resumed lending to a wider group of borrowers with lower funding and operation costs brought by mobile payment development.
We analyze how concerns for model misspecification on the part of international lenders affect the desirability of issuing state-contingent debt instruments in a standard sovereign default model à la Eaton and Gersovitz (1981). We show that for the commonly used threshold state-contingent bond structure (e.g., the GDP-linked bond issued by Argentina in 2005), the model with robustness generates ambiguity premia in bond spreads that can explain most of what the literature has labeled as novelty premium. While the government would be better off with this bond when facing rational expectations lenders, this additional source of premia leads to welfare losses when facing robust lenders. Finally, we characterize the optimal design of the state-contingent bond and show how it varies with the level of robustness. Our findings rationalize the little use of these instruments in practice and shed light on their optimal design.
Mr. Johannes Herderschee, Ran Li, Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, and Ms. Luisa Zanforlin
Whereas most of the literature related to the so-called “resource curse” tends to emphasize on institutional factors and public policies, in this research we focus on the role of the financial sector, which has been surprisingly overlooked. We find that countries that have financial systems with more depth, as well as those that actively manage their central banks’ balance sheets experience less exchange-rate appreciation than countries that do not. We analyze the relationship between these two findings and suggest that they appear to follow separate mechanisms.
We consider how fear of model misspecification on the part of the planner and/or the households affects welfare gains from optimal macroprudential taxes in an economy with occasionally binding collateral constraints as in Bianchi (2011). On the one hand, there exist welfare gains from internalizing how borrowing decisions in good times affect the value of collateral during a crisis. On the other hand, interventions by a robust planner that has in mind a model far from the true underlying distribution of shocks, can result in negligible welfare gains, or even losses. This is because a policy that is robust to misspecification, as in Hansen and Sargent (2011), is optimal under a "worst-case'' scenario but not under alternative distributions of the state. A robust planner introduces taxes that are 5 percentage points higher but does not achieve a significant increase in welfare gains compared to a non-robust planner when the true underlying model is not the worst-case. If households also make choices that are robust to model misspecification, the gains are significantly reduced and a highly-robust planner "underborrows" and induces welfare losses. If, however, the worst-case scenario is indeed realized, then welfare gains are the largest possible.
Credit spreads rise after a monetary policy tightening, yet spread reactions are heterogeneous across firms. Exploiting information from a panel of corporate bonds matched with balance sheet data for U.S. non-financial firms, we document that firms with high leverage experience a more pronounced increase in credit spreads than firms with low leverage. A large fraction of this increase is due to a component of credit spreads that is in excess of firms' expected default. Our results suggest that frictions in the financial intermediation sector play a crucial role in shaping the transmission mechanism of monetary policy.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an unprecedented worldwide economic contraction, leading central banks to reduce interest rates to historically low levels and making unconventional monetary policies—including “low for long” interest rates and asset purchases—increasingly common. Arguably, however, the policies implemented are efficient because they encourage increased risk-taking, and they may have, if unintentionally, increase medium- and long-run macro-financial vulnerabilities. This paper argues that the resulting trade-offs need to be carefully accounted for in monetary policy models and outlines how that can be achieved in practice.
Mr. Tobias Adrian, Fernando Duarte, Nellie Liang, and Pawel Zabczyk
We extend the New Keynesian (NK) model to include endogenous risk. Lower interest rates not only shift consumption intertemporally but also conditional output risk via their impact on risk-taking, giving rise to a vulnerability channel of monetary policy. The model fits the conditional output gap distribution and can account for medium-term increases in downside risks when financial conditions are loose. The policy prescriptions are very different from those in the standard NK model: monetary policy that focuses purely on inflation and output-gap stabilization can lead to instability. Macroprudential measures can mitigate the intertemporal risk-return tradeoff created by the vulnerability channel.