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William P. Mako

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.

Mr. Marc G Quintyn and Donato Masciandaro
The literature stresses the importance of financial market characteristics in determining the supervisory architectures. In the real world it is not always clear to what extent market features are taken into account. We present two complementary approaches to gain insights in the above relationship. First, an empirical test of two theories-the helping and the grabbing hand view of government-seems more consistent with the latter, presuming the market demonstrates a preference for consolidation of supervisory powers. Second, a survey among financial CEOs in Italy confirms a preference for a consolidated supervisory regime and reveals only weak consistency between the views of the policymakers and the market operators.