Volume III, edited by Robert C. Effros, contains the collected views of banking and legal experts, gathered at the third IMF-sponsored seminar of central banks general counsels. Matters of both international and domestic concern are addressed. The contributors analyze topics covering developments in international financial institutions; the progress of the European Union toward monetary union and a unified banking and securities market; the economic reform of Latin America; the resolution of the debt crisis; and banking regulations and reform in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
This paper looks at the historical lessons that might serve to entrech Latin America's newly resurgent growth phase. It briefly reviews the post-World War II experiences in Latin America and Asia, focusing on the conditions that favored capital accumulation and productivity growth in the faster growing economies. Among these, the paper highlights the importance of stable macroeconomic policies, especially fiscal policy.
Mr. Luis Catão, Valeriya Dinger, and Daniel Marcel te Kaat
Using a sample of over 700 banks in Latin America, we show that international financial liberalization lowers bank capital ratios and increases the shares of short-term funding. Following liberalization, large banks substitute interbank borrowing for equity and long-term funding, whereas small banks increase the proportions of retail funding in their liabilities, which have been particularly vulnerable to flight-to-quality during periods of financial distress in much of Latin America. We also find evidence that riskier bank funding in the aftermath of financial liberalizations is exacerbated by asymmetric information, which rises on geographical distance and the opacity of balance sheets.
Mr. Donald J Mathieson and Ms. Liliana Rojas-Suárez
This paper reviews the experience with capital controls in industrial and developing countries, considers the policy issues raised when the effectiveness of capital controls diminishes, examines the medium-term benefits and costs of an open capital account, and analyzes the policy measures that could help sustain capital account convertibility. As the effectiveness of capital controls eroded more rapidly in the 1980s than in earlier periods, new constraints were placed on the formulation of stabilization and structural reform programs. However, experience suggests that certain macroeconomic, financial, and risk management policies would allow countries to attain the benefits of capital account convertibility and reduce the financial risks created by an open capital account.
This paper analyzes the impact of the globalization of financial markets on developing and transition economies. Differences between the responses of competitive and imperfectly competitive banking sectors cause them to affect economic activity differently. While nonbank financial markets and institutions can help to increase the competitiveness of banking sectors, there are “gaps” in the institutions and market structures of developing and transition economies. Eliminating these gaps may reinforce financial market discipline in these countries. Some current international initiatives are outlined for enhancing financial system soundness; these emphasize the complementary roles of market discipline and official oversight in an environment of globalized markets.
Luc Eyraud, Ms. Diva Singh, and Mr. Bennett W Sutton
The timing is ripe to pursue greater regional financial integration in Latin America given the withdrawal of some global banks from the region and the weakening of growth prospects. Important initiatives are ongoing to foster financial integration. Failure to capitalize on this would represent a significant missed opportunity. This paper examines the scope for further global and regional financial integration in Latin America, based on economic fundamentals and comparisons to other emerging regions, and quantifies the potential macroeconomic gains that such integration could bring. The analysis suggests that closing the financial integration gap could boost GDP growth be ¼ - ¾ percentage point in these countries, on average.
This paper explores the hypothesis that the dollarization of liabilities in emerging market economies is the result of a lack of monetary credibility. I present a model in which firms choose the currency composition of their debts so as to minimize their probability of default. Decreasing monetary credibility can induce firms to dollarize their liabilities, even though this makes them vulnerable to a depreciation of the domestic currency. The channel is different from the channel studied in the earlier literature on sovereign debt, and it applies to both private and public debt. The paper presents some empirical evidence and discusses policy implications.
Many Latin American economies have experienced significant reductions in growth recently, as a result of the end of the commodity super-cycle and the rebalancing of China’s growth, and a number of global banks have been leaving the region. AlthoughLatin American countries were generally less affected by the global financial crisis (GFC) than other regions, the region continues also to suffer from the protracted sluggish growth in advanced economies. In addition, there has since 2008 been a withdrawal of global banks from the region, thus potentially worsening access to credit or reducing competition in the financial sector. More broadly, the GFC demonstrated that extreme economic volatility can originate from outside the region, rather than internally, as was the experience of the 1980s and 1990s...