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Mr. Taimur Baig and Mr. Ilan Goldfajn
This paper investigates the contagion from Russia to Brazil in late 1998 under two dimensions— players involved and the timing of events. The data does not seem to reflect a compensatory liquidation of assets story by international institutional investors. It does contribute, however, to the suspicion that the contagion was triggered by foreign investors panicking from the Russian crisis, and joining local residents on their speculation against the Brazilian real. Adjusted correlations in the Brady market increase significantly during the crisis, which lends support to the view that if there was a contagion from Russia to Brazil, the most likely place of the transmission was the off-shore Brady market. Finally, the paper does not support the hypothesis that it was the liquidity crisis in mature markets, and not the Russian crisis, that timed the crisis in Brazil.
International Monetary Fund
This paper analyzes reserve adequacy in emerging market countries. It argues that the old rule of thumb of maintaining reserves equivalent to three months of imports has become obsolete and that, instead, a new benchmark is needed which takes into account the increased importance of capital flows. The paper suggests such a benchmark, consisting of the sum of short-term debt on a residual maturity basis (the external drain) and an allowance for possible capital flight (the internal drain), taking into account differences in country risk and exchange rate regime.
International Monetary Fund
To test the role of bank lending in transmitting currency crisis we examine a panel of BIS data on bank flows to 30 emerging markets disaggregated by 11 banking centers. We find that bank exposures to a crisis country help predict bank flows in third countries after the Mexican and Asian crisis, but not after the Russian crisis. In the latter, there is evidence of a generalized outflow from emerging markets, rather than outflows linked to prior exposure to Russia.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents evidence that spillovers through bank lending, as opposed to trade linkages and country characteristics, can help explain contagion. We construct a measure of competition for bank funds and find evidence in favor of a common lender effect in the Mexican, Thai, and Russian crises, after controlling for macroeconomic fundamentals. The results are quite robust to the definition of the finance indicator. In the case of the Asian crisis, results are not always robust to the inclusion of trade competition, reflecting the high correlation between competition for funds and trade.
Mr. Olivier J Blanchard
The purpose of this lecture is to look beyond the complex events that characterize the global financial and economic crisis, identify the basic mechanisms, and infer the policies needed to resolve the current crisis, as well as the policies needed to reduce the probability of similar events in the future.
Mr. Martin Cihak
To showcase their increasing focus on financial stability, many central banks and other institutions have started publishing regular reports on financial stability. The paper presents a survey of the available financial stability reports, and proposes a framework for assessing such documents. It illustrates how the framework can be implemented, and uses the findings to identify prevalent practices, recent trends, and areas for improvement.
Mr. Martin Cihak, Simon Wolfe, and Mr. Klaus Schaeck
This paper provides the first empirical analysis of the cross-country relationship between a direct measure of competitive conduct of financial institutions and banking system fragility. Using the Panzar and Rosse H-Statistic as a measure for competition in 38 countries during 1980-2003, we present evidence that more competitive banking systems are less prone to systemic crises and that time to crisis is longer in a competitive environment. Our results hold when concentration and the regulatory environment are controlled for and are robust to different methodologies, different sampling periods, and alternative samples.
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.
Ms. TengTeng Xu, Kun Hu, and Mr. Udaibir S Das
We analyze how bank profitability impacts financial stability from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. We first develop a theoretical model of the relationship between bank profitability and financial stability by exploring the role of non-interest income and retail-oriented business models. We then conduct panel regression analysis to examine the empirical determinants of bank risks and profitability, and how the level and the source of bank profitability affect risks for 431 publicly traded banks (U.S., advanced Europe, and GSIBs) from 2004 to 2017. Results reveal that profitability is negatively associated with both a bank’s contribution to systemic risk and its idiosyncratic risk, and an over-reliance on non-interest income, wholesale funding and leverage is associated with higher risks. Low competition is associated with low idiosyncratic risk but a high contribution to systemic risk. Lastly, the problem loans ratio and the cost-to-income ratio are found to be key factors that influence bank profitability. The paper’s findings suggest that policy makers should strive to better understand the source of bank profitability, especially where there is an over-reliance on market-based non-interest income, leverage, and wholesale funding.