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M. Ayhan Kose and Eswar S. Prasad

This issue of F&D looks at the growing role of emerging markets. Analysis by the IMF's Ayhan Kose and Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University, argues that their economic ascendance will enable emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia to play a more significant part in global economic governance and take on more responsibility for economic and financial stability. And Vivek Arora and Athanasios Vamvakidis measure how China's economy is increasingly affecting the rest of the world not just its neighbors and main trading partners. In addition, F&D examines a variety of topics that are particularly relevant as the world struggles to shake off the crisis. Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi look at the positive effects of stimulus in the United States. Without it, they say, the United States would still be in recession. IMF researchers look at how countries can get debt under control, and what happens when government debt is downgraded. Other articles examine the human costs of unemployment, how inequality can lead over time to financial crisis, and what changes in the way banks do business could mean for the financial system. Two articles look at Islamic banking, which was put to the test during the global crisis and proved its mettle, and in Faces of the Crisis Revisited, we continue to track how the recession affected several individuals around the world. This issue of F&D profiles Princeton economic theorist Avinash Dixit in the regular People in Economics feature, and Back to Basics looks at externalities.

Mr. Stijn Claessens and Juan A. Marchetti

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. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper reviews the relationship between real GDP growth and domestic bank lending to the private sector in Hungary after the global financial crisis, It draws on a cross-country analysis of European countries. The recessions that followed the crisis were deeper and lasted longer than the average recession. Hungary, like some other countries, experienced a creditless recovery. Although it is difficult to disentangle the causes, this analysis concludes that (1) both credit demand and supply were hurt by the crisis; (2) key factors influencing credit developments include loan quality, deposit funding, and bank capital, as well as the macroeconomic environment; and (3) lending by Hungarian banks to the private sector finally seems to be picking up.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
World Economic Outlook Update, IMF's Future role Debated, Poor Countries Face Crisis Impact, Eastern Europe's Currency Risk, Interview with Hamad Al Suwaidi, Mideast-Central Asia Outlook, Pacific Islands Face Pressures, Interview with IMF Statistics Director, News Briefs.
Mr. Marco Arena, Gabriel Di Bella, Mr. Alfredo Cuevas, Mr. Borja Gracia, Vina Nguyen, and Alex Pienkowski
Estimates of the natural interest rate are often useful in the analysis of monetary and other macroeconomic policies. The topic gathered much attention following the great financial crisis and the Euro Area debt crisis due to the uncertainty regarding the timing of monetary policy normalization and the future path of interest rates. Using a sample of European countries (including several members of the Euro Area), this paper provides estimates of country-specific natural interest rates and some of their drivers between 2000 and 2019. In line with the literature, our findings suggest that natural interest rates declined during this period, and despite a rebound in the last few years of it, they have not recovered to their pre-crisis levels. The paper also discusses the implications of the decline in natural interest rates for monetary conditions and debt sustainability.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

This paper examines credit conditions and recoveries from financial crises. The paper highlights that the prospects for recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis appear to be on the horizon. The paper discusses that the question—what determines the path of recovery from a recession associated with a financial crisis—is of utmost importance as policymakers debate how soon to withdraw the extraordinary monetary and fiscal stimulus that were put in place soon after the onset of the crisis. The paper also analyzes inflation targeting in emerging economies.

Ms. Wenjie Chen, Mr. Mico Mrkaic, and Mr. Malhar S Nabar
This paper takes stock of the global economic recovery a decade after the 2008 financial crisis. Output losses after the crisis appear to be persistent, irrespective of whether a country suffered a banking crisis in 2007–08. Sluggish investment was a key channel through which these losses registered, accompanied by long-lasting capital and total factor productivity shortfalls relative to precrisis trends. Policy choices preceding the crisis and in its immediate aftermath influenced postcrisis variation in output. Underscoring the importance of macroprudential policies and effective supervision, countries with greater financial vulnerabilities in the precrisis years suffered larger output losses after the crisis. Countries with stronger precrisis fiscal positions and those with more flexible exchange rate regimes experienced smaller losses. Unprecedented and exceptional policy actions taken after the crisis helped mitigate countries’ postcrisis output losses.
Ms. Deniz O Igan and Thomas Lambert
In this paper, we discuss whether and how bank lobbying can lead to regulatory capture and have real consequences through an overview of the motivations behind bank lobbying and of recent empirical evidence on the subject. Overall, the findings are consistent with regulatory capture, which lessens the support for tighter rules and enforcement. This in turn allows riskier practices and worse economic outcomes. The evidence provides insights into how the rising political power of banks in the early 2000s propelled the financial system and the economy into crisis. While these findings should not be interpreted as a call for an outright ban of lobbying, they point in the direction of a need for rethinking the framework governing interactions between regulators and banks. Enhanced transparency of regulatory decisions as well as strenghtened checks and balances within the decision-making process would go in this direction.
Jihad Dagher
Financial crises are traditionally analyzed as purely economic phenomena. The political economy of financial booms and busts remains both under-emphasized and limited to isolated episodes. This paper examines the political economy of financial policy during ten of the most infamous financial booms and busts since the 18th century, and presents consistent evidence of pro-cyclical regulatory policies by governments. Financial booms, and risk-taking during these episodes, were often amplified by political regulatory stimuli, credit subsidies, and an increasing light-touch approach to financial supervision. The regulatory backlash that ensues from financial crises can only be understood in the context of the deep political ramifications of these crises. Post-crisis regulations do not always survive the following boom. The interplay between politics and financial policy over these cycles deserves further attention. History suggests that politics can be the undoing of macro-prudential regulations.
Miss Rita Babihuga and Marco Spaltro
This paper investigates the determinants of bank funding costs for a sample of internationally active banks from 2001–12. We find that changes in banks’ unsecured funding costs are associated with bank-specific characteristics such as an institution’s credit worthiness and the return on its market value, and importantly, on the level and quality of capital. Similarly, market factors such as the level of investor risk appetite, as well as shocks to financial markets—notably the US subprime crisis and the Euro Area sovereign debt crisis—have also been key drivers of the sharp rise in bank funding costs. We also find evidence that large systemically important institutions have enjoyed a funding advantage, and that this advantage has risen since the onset of the two crises. With the exception of Euro Area periphery banks, by end-2012 the rise in funding costs had generally been reversed for most major banks as a result of improvments in bank asset quality as well as steps taken to increase resilience, notably higher capitalization. Our results suggest increased capital buffers may potentially support bank lending to the real economy by reducing bank funding costs.