The following remarks were made by the Acting Chair at the conclusion of the Executive Board’s discussion of the World Economic Outlook, Global Financial Stability Report, and Fiscal Monitor on September 14, 2012.
The global economy has deteriorated further since the release of the July 2012 WEO Update, and growth projections have been marked down (Table 1.1). Downside risks are now judged to be more elevated than in the April 2012 and September 2011 World Economic Outlook (WEO) reports. A key issue is whether the global economy is just hitting another bout of turbulence in what was always expected to be a slow and bumpy recovery or whether the current slowdown has a more lasting component. The answer depends on whether European and U.S. policymakers deal proactively with their major short-term economic challenges. The WEO forecast assumes that they do, and thus global activity is projected to reaccelerate in the course of 2012; if they do not, the forecast will likely be disappointed once again. For the medium term, important questions remain about how the global economy will operate in a world of high government debt and whether emerging market economies can maintain their strong expansion while shifting further from external to domestic sources of growth. The problem of high public debt existed before the Great Recession, because of population aging and growth in entitlement spending, but the crisis brought the need to address it forward from the long to the medium term.
Global growth slowed again during the second quarter of 2012 after rebounding during the first. The slowing has been observed in all regions. This synchronicity suggests an important role for common factors, many of which reflected wide-ranging spillovers from large country-specific or regional shocks. A first shock was the ratcheting up of financial stress in the euro area periphery in the second quarter. Second, domestic demand in many economies in Asia and Latin America (notably Brazil, China, and India, but also others) slowed, owing not just to weaker external demand from Europe but also to domestic factors. Growth also decelerated in the United States.
Throughout the past century, numerous advanced economies have faced public debt burdens as high, or higher, than those prevailing today. They responded with a wide variety of policy approaches. We analyze these experiences to draw lessons for today and reach three main conclusions. First, successful debt reduction requires fiscal consolidation and a policy mix that supports growth. Key elements of this policy mix are measures that address structural weaknesses in the economy and supportive monetary policy. Second, fiscal consolidation must emphasize persistent, structural reforms to public finances over temporary or short-lived fiscal measures. In this respect, fiscal institutions can help lock in any gains. Third, reducing public debt takes time, especially in the context of a weak external environment.
Many emerging market and developing economies have done well over the past decade and through the global financial crisis. Will this last? This chapter documents the marked improvement in these economies’ resilience over the past 20 years. These economies did so well during the past decade that for the first time, emerging market and developing economies spent more time in expansion and had smaller downturns than advanced economies. Their improved performance is explained by both good policies and a lower incidence of external and domestic shocks: better policies account for about three-fifths of their improved performance, and less-frequent shocks account for the rest. However, should the external environment worsen, these economies will likely end up “recoupling” with advanced economies. Homegrown shocks could also pull down growth. These economies will need to rebuild their buffers to ensure that they are able to respond to potential shocks on the horizon.
We use data for more than 2,600 European banks to test whether increased competition causes banks to hold higher capital ratios. Employing panel data techniques, and distinguishing between the competitive conduct of small and large banks, we show that banks tend to hold higher capital ratios when operating in a more competitive environment. This result holds when controlling for the degree of concentration in banking systems, inter-industry competition, characteristics of the wider financial system, and the regulatory and institutional environment.
In this paper we identify some of the main factors behind systemic risk in a set of international large-scale complex banks using the novel CoVaR approach. We find that short-term wholesale funding is a key determinant in triggering systemic risk episodes. In contrast, we find no evidence that a larger size increases systemic risk within the class of large global banks. We also show that the sensitivity of system-wide risk to an individual bank is asymmetric across episodes of positive and negative asset returns. Since short-term wholesale funding emerges as the most relevant systemic factor, our results support the Basel Committee's proposal to introduce a net stable funding ratio, penalizing excessive exposure to liquidity risk.
The global financial crisis has demonstrated weaknesses in resolution regimes for financial institutions around the globe, including in the European Union (EU). This paper considers the principles underlying resolution regimes for financial institutions, and draws out how a well-designed resolution regime can expand the toolset available for crisis management. Introducing, or in some cases expanding the scope, of these regimes is pressing to achieve more effective responses to ongoing financial sector weaknesses across the EU.
La edición de octubre de 2012 de Perspectivas de la economía mundial evalúa el panorama con respecto a la recuperación global, considerando riesgos tales como la actual crisis de la zona del euro y el llamado abismo o precipicio fiscal al que se enfrentan las autoridades de Estados Unidos. Para reducir los riesgos que empañan las perspectivas a mediano plazo es necesario reducir la deuda pública en las principales economías avanzadas, y en el capítulo 3 se pasa revista a 100 años de historia en relación con problemas de sobreendeudamiento público. En las economías de mercados emergentes y en desarrollo, la actividad se ha desacelerado debido a la aplicación de políticas más restrictivas en respuesta a limitaciones de la capacidad, una menor demanda de las economías avanzadas y factores específicos de cada país. Sin embargo, el fortalecimiento de las políticas ha creado en estas economías mayor capacidad de resistencia a los shocks, tema que se examina en profundidad en el capítulo 4.
L'édition d'octobre 2012 des Perspectives de l’économie mondiale examine les chances de reprise mondiale compte tenu des risques que posent la crise persistante de la zone euro et le « précipice budgétaire » qui menace les dirigeants américains. La réduction des risques pesant sur les perspectives à moyen terme passe par une réduction de la dette publique dans les principaux pays avancés, et le chapitre 3 dresse une rétrospective sur un siècle de la gestion du surendettement public. Dans les pays émergents ou en développement, l'activité a ralenti en raison d'un certain resserrement dû aux contraintes de capacité, du fléchissement de la demande des pays avancés, et de facteurs propres à certains pays, mais l'amélioration des politiques économiques a renforcé la résistance de ces pays face aux chocs. C'est ce qu'examine le chapitre 4.