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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper presents Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) with the Republic of Korea. The Korean authorities have continued their efforts at upgrading the prudential, legal, and supervisory framework for the financial sector, and keeping up with international standards and practices in other G20 jurisdictions. The authorities have been strengthening the system with micro and macroprudential measures against vulnerabilities, strengthening the crisis management framework, and upgrading the prudential and legal framework. The FSSA suggests moving toward a more forward-looking monitoring and systemic risk identification mechanism. The reliability of various stress tests could be augmented with advanced methods, system-wide monitoring, and testing the overall leverage related to residential properties, households’ resilience to adverse shocks, and sovereign contingent liabilities. Stronger focus is required on systemic risks emanating from securities market activities that can amplify contagion, including sudden redemption and liquidity pressures in the funds and asset management industry.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note provides a summary of the review of systemic risk oversight arrangements and macroprudential policy issues in Canada. The paper discusses the existing systemic risk oversight arrangements and potential challenges, and then presents steps that can be taken to modernize the framework to ensure its effectiveness going forward. The paper focuses on systemic risk surveillance, including the current approaches and existing challenges such as data gaps and coordination. It also covers macroprudential policy issues, including the toolkit, the current policy stance and overall policy effectiveness. The review recommends that steps can be taken to improve the current system with a more formalized arrangement for systemic risk oversight. A single body in charge of systemic risk oversight would be the first-best option. Over time, the authorities should review whether systemic risk oversight under the Heads of Agencies Committee leadership with no statutory mandate is adequate. Macroprudential policy at the federal level has been effective; however, better coordination is essential given multiple provincial authorities’ ownership of prudential tools.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Financial System Stability Assessment paper discusses that Canada has enjoyed favorable macroeconomic outcomes over the past decades, and its vibrant financial system continues to grow robustly. However, macrofinancial vulnerabilities—notably, elevated household debt and housing market imbalances—remain substantial, posing financial stability concerns. Various parts of the financial system are directly exposed to the housing market and/or linked through housing finance. The financial system would be able to manage severe macrofinancial shocks. Major deposit-taking institutions would remain resilient, but mortgage insurers would need additional capital in a severe adverse scenario. Housing finance is broadly resilient, notwithstanding some weaknesses in the small non-prime mortgage lending segment. Although banks’ overall capital buffers are adequate, additional required capital for mortgage exposures, along with measures to increase risk-based differentiation in mortgage pricing, would be desirable. This would help ensure adequate through-the cycle buffers, improve mortgage risk-pricing, and limit procyclical effects induced by housing market corrections.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses the findings of the Financial System Stability Assessment for Sweden. The Swedish financial system is large and highly interconnected, putting a premium on the accompanying policy framework. Relative to the size of the domestic economy, the financial system is among Europe’s largest. It features complex domestic and international linkages, reflecting Sweden’s role as a regional financial hub. However, the macrofinancial risks have grown since 2011, for example the rising share of highly indebted households. Stress tests also suggest that banks and nonbanks are largely resilient to solvency shocks, but concerns persist about the ability of bank models to capture unexpected losses.
Mr. Ivo Krznar and Mr. James Morsink
The goal of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of the policy measures taken by Canadian authorities to address the housing boom. We find that the the last three rounds of macroprudential policies implemented since 2010 were associated with lower mortgage credit growth and house price growth. The international experience suggests that—in addition to tighter loan-to-value limits and shorter amortization periods—lower caps on the debt-to-income ratio and higher risk weights could be effective if the housing boom were to reignite. Over the medium term, the authorities could consider structural measures to further improve the soundness of housing finance.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Informational Annex highlights the Canadian authorities’ free-floating exchange rate regime. The exchange rate regime is free from exchange restrictions and multiple currency practices. The Canadian authorities do not maintain margins with respect to exchange transactions. However, the authorities may intervene to ensure orderly conditions in the exchange market. There are no taxes or subsidies on purchases or sales of foreign exchange. Canada’s exchange system is free of restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions. Canada also maintains exchange restrictions for security reasons, based on UN Security Council resolutions reported to the IMF for approval.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
After recovering rapidly from the Great Recession, the Canadian economy has slowed down in 2012. Growth weakened in the first three quarters of 2012, and recent indicators have suggested that the pace of economic expansion remained subpar in the fourth quarter. The fiscal policy has continued to be a drag on growth, as the stimulus is being withdrawn. These have been only partly offset by an improvement in financial conditions in 2012. Growth is expected to gain new momentum over 2013.
International Monetary Fund
The Netherlands has been heavily affected by the global financial crisis. The “Twin Peaks” supervision model, with Netherlands Central Bank - De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) as the prudential supervisor, and the Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) responsible for conduct-of-business supervision, was severely tested, although the case for the model remains strong. The crisis has shown that these institutions bring sizable risks, which requires careful and comprehensive monitoring and supervision. The findings of the Financial Stability Assessment Program (FSAP) are summarized. Top-down stress tests were conducted. Supervisory colleges are an important innovation to reinforce home-host coordination for supervisors of large complex financial institutions (LCFIs).
Mr. Christopher W. Crowe
The recent housing bust has reignited interest in psychological theories of speculative excess (Shiller, 2007). I investigate this issue by identifying a segment of the U.S. population-evangelical protestants-that may be less prone to speculative motives, and uncover a significant negative relationship between their population share and house price volatility. Evangelicals' focus on Biblical prophecy could account for this difference, since it may enable them to interpret otherwise negative events as containing positive news, dampening the response of house prices to shocks. I provide evidence for this channel using a popular internet measure of "prophetic activity" and a 9/11 event study. I also analyze survey data covering religious beliefs and asset holding, and find that 'end times' beliefs are associated with a one-third decline in net worth, consistent with these beliefs providing a form of psychic insurance (Scheve and Stasavage, 2006a and 2006b) that reduces asset demand.