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.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This paper assesses progress made in deepening and integrating systemic risk analysis and macroprudential policy advice in Article IV consultations following up on the findings of the IEO evaluation. The assessment informs the Comprehensive Surveillance Review and the FSAP Review in their recommendations to strengthen these areas in Article IV consultations. The findings point to notable improvements made since the launch of the macrofinancial mainstreaming initiative, particularly in staff reports for advanced economies and in covering bank and credit-related risks.
In its April 2009 Communiqué, the IMFC called for a prompt start to the Fourteenth General Review of Quotas so that it is completed by January 2011--some two years ahead of schedule. The IMFC noted that the review is expected to result in increases in the quota shares of dynamic economies, particularly in the share of emerging market and developing countries as a whole. The IMFC also looked forward to further work by the Executive Board on elements of the new quota formula that can be improved before the formula is used again, and noted that this work should start before the 2009 Annual Meetings.