Delineation of sectors and financial instruments in a matrix of balance sheets for an economy is central to specifying the BSA framework for analysis of the potential for emerging liquidity or solvency problems. The sectorization and financial instruments in the 7 x 7 matrix presented in this paper provide a useful baseline for applying the BSA and can be adapted to focus on particular sectors to assess vulnerabilities in the economy. This framework can also be modified to accommodate data limitations and still be useful for vulnerability analysis.
“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Mr. Aditya Narain, Ms. Inci Ötker, and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu
The IMF, with the Bank for International Settlements and the Financial Stability Board, has been at the forefront of discussions on reform of the global financial system to reduce the possibility of future crises, as well as to limit the consequences if they do occur. The policy choices are both urgent and challenging, and are complicated by the relationship between sovereign debt and risks to the banking sector. Building a More Resilient Financial Sector describes the key elements of the reform agenda, including tighter regulation and more effective supervision; greater transparency to strengthen market discipline and limit incentives for risk taking; coherent mechanisms for resolution of failed institutions; and effective safety nets to limit the impact on the financial system of institutions viewed as "too big to fail." Finally, the book takes a look ahead at how the financial system is likely to be shaped by the efforts of policymakers and the private sector response.
A distinguishing feature of emerging market crises in the 1990s and early 2000s was the sudden disruption in the capital accounts of key sectors of the economy. Capital account crises typically occur as creditors quickly lose confidence, prompting sudden and large-scale portfolio adjustments such as massive withdrawals of bank deposits, panic sales of securities, or abrupt halts of debt rollovers. As the exchange rate, interest rates, and other asset prices adjust, the balance sheet of an entire economy can sharply deteriorate.
The particular framework of a BSA application—a matrix of intersectoral balance sheets in terms of sectors of the economy and components of the balance sheet (Table 1)—depends on the focus of analysis and, as a practical matter, the availability of data. Allen and others (2002) provide a generic matrix encompassing four sectors (government, financial, nonfinancial, nonresident) with assets and liabilities broken down by (short- and long-term) maturity and currency (domestic, foreign). The framework presented in this paper uses the same breakdown of assets and liabilities but expands it to seven sectors.6
Recent improvements in statistical methodologies and data availability are enhancing the potential for detecting and monitoring macroeconomic balance sheet vulnerabilities. In particular, some of the datasets introduced in recent years permit a much more frequent, detailed, and up-to-date analysis.
The most important aspect of the new datasets is that they permit tracking the evolution of balance sheet vulnerabilities—the potential for liquidity or solvency problems—on a regular and timely basis for surveillance purposes. As the example of South Africa illustrated, the new datasets—particularly the SRF, JEDH, QEDS, and CPIS—provide financial data with greater periodicity, detail, and timeliness, enabling better tracking of current vulnerabilities using the BSA. These data can be mapped into the 7 x 7 BSA framework for a monthly analysis of sectoral vulnerabilities. If needed, the framework also allows for a detailed breakdown by assets and liabilities by currency, which can be very useful when analyzing particular vulnerabilities. Recent applications of the BSA using these new databases illustrate some of the advantages for IMF surveillance. However, the full potential for detailed examination of a country’s vulnerabilities and cross-country analysis based on comparable data will be realized in future applications of the BSA using these databases.
Mr. Matthew I. Saal, Mr. Carl-Johan Lindgren, and Ms. G. G. Garcia
Banking sector problems have plagued over 130 of the IMF's member countries since 1980. Developing and industrial market economies alike have been affected, as have all the economies in transition. This volume, by Carl-Johan Lindgren, Gillian Garcia, and Matthew I. Saal, discusses the linkages between macroeconomic policy and bank soundness. It takes a global view of the causes and consequences of banking sector problems and discussses how the banking system can be strengthened, nationally and internationally.