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Mr. Stanley Fischer

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

For the first time since the October 2008 Global Financial Stability Report, risks to global financial stability have increased (Figures 1.2 and 1.3), signaling a partial reversal in progress made over the past three years. The pace of the economic recovery has slowed, stalling progress in balance sheet repair in many advanced economies. Sovereign stress in the euro area has spilled over to banking systems, pushing up credit and market risks. Low interest rates could lead to excesses as the “search for yield” exacerbates the turn in the credit cycle, especially in emerging markets. Recent market turmoil suggests that investors are losing patience with the lack of momentum on financial repair and reform (Box 1.1). Policymakers need to accelerate actions to address longstanding financial weaknesses to ensure stability.

Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

1. The origins of the 1980s Debt Crisis can be traced back to the acute shocks to the international monetary system in the 1970s: the collapse of the Bretton Wood system; the major oil prices hikes; and the substantial liberalization of international finance. The associated build-up of imbalances and vulnerabilities during this period ended abruptly in the early 1980s, and the IMF had to deal with its first systemic debt crisis. Given the novelty of this event, it took time for debtors, creditors, and the international community to understand the magnitude of the problems faced by these indebted economies. Reforms to the crisis-resolution framework occurred gradually and often in a piecemeal fashion. But the reforms made during the 1980s set the foundation for the IMF’s policies and principles today, remaining robust despite a continually changing landscape.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The asset allocation decisions of investors are at the core of financial flows between markets, currencies, and countries. This chapter aims to identify the fundamental drivers for these decisions and determine whether their influence has been altered by the global financial crisis and the subsequent low interest rate environment in advanced economies. In particular, the chapter investigates whether changes in investor behavior pose downside risks for global financial stability.

Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

1. The debt crisis ended along with the 1980s, and 1989 saw interest rates drop and prospects for economic growth brighten. With the 1990s, private capital began flowing again to emerging and developing countries. This renewed interest in investment was bolstered by liberalization of international capital flows and widespread deregulation of financial institutions and capital markets. As the recipient economies found, however, the speculative inflows were subject to sudden capital flow reversals and stops.

Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

1. In 2001–02, Argentina experienced one of the worst economic crises in its history. The severity of the crisis, and the economic/political complexity for debt crisis resolution made it particularly important to examine what lessons could be learned from it [40]. The circumstances of the crisis highlighted the need to establish a better framework for countries to exit in a timely fashion from unsustainable debt dynamics. In the aftermath of the crisis, the IMF focused its work particularly on two areas aiming to promote a more orderly system for the resolution of sovereign debt crises: rethinking the framework for committing exceptional levels of IMF resources, and considering methods for addressing collective action problems. On the latter, the IMF considered in parallel both statutory and contractual approaches.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Operationalizing macroprudential policies requires progress on a number of fronts: developing ways to monitor a risk buildup, choosing indicators to detect when risks are about to materialize, and designing and using macroprudential policy tools. Establishing these robust frameworks will be a lengthy process. Using a structural model and empirical evidence, the following analysis takes a solid step forward on each of the interrelated tasks.

Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

1. In the aftermath of the Argentine crisis, IMF members experienced a relatively calm period. There were few IMF-supported programs (Brazil, Turkey, Uruguay) under the Exceptional Access Policy (EAP—see chapter 3), largely due to balance of payments problems in the current account, and relatively few sovereign debt restructurings (e.g., Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Belize). However, imbalances and vulnerabilities were growing and subsequently erupted in 2007 [58].

Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Caio Ferreira, Nigel Jenkinson, Mr. Luc Laeven, Alberto Martin, Ms. Camelia Minoiu, and Alex Popov
This paper reviews empirical and theoretical work on the links between banks and their governments (the bank-sovereign nexus). How significant is this nexus? What do we know about it? To what extent is it a source of concern? What is the role of policy intervention? The paper concludes with a review of recent policy proposals.
International Monetary Fund

The EU crisis was caused by unsustainable policies in some member countries, and has put the spotlight on the deficiency of area-wide mechanisms in disciplining fiscal and structural policies. Despite a strong and far-reaching policy response, market confidence will take time to restore. Fiscal sustainability needs to be established. Growth needs to be boosted through swift implementation of structural reforms. The resilience of the banking system must be improved and its stability assured. Progress in building the EU’s financial stability architecture should be pursued.