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Mr. Andrew Feltenstein and Roger Dean Lagunoff
This paper examines alternative ways to prevent losses from bank insolvencies. It is widely viewed that transparency in reporting bank balance sheets is a key element in reducing such losses. It is, however, unclear just how such transparency would be achieved. Current approaches to avoiding insolvencies generally involve international enforcement mechanisms. Among these are the sovereign debt restructuring mechanism (SDRM), and, more generally, an international bankruptcy court. We develop a model that compares two alternative institutions for bank auditing. Neither of these institutions would require as much enforcement capability as an international bankruptcy court, hence they would be easier to introduce. The first of these is a system of central bank auditing of national banks. The second type of auditing is carried out by an international agency that collects risk information on banks in all countries and then provides it to depositors. Using a game-theoretic approach, we compare the informativeness of the disclosure rule in the symmetric Perfect Bayesian equilibrium in each of the two different auditing institutions. We show that the international auditor generally performs at least as well, and sometimes better than, auditing by either central banks, which, in turn, perform better than voluntary disclosure by the banks themselves. The results do not assume any informational advantages of the international auditor, nor is the international auditor somehow less "corrupt" than the central banks. Rather, the international auditor's credibility comes from the simple fact that its incentives are not distorted by a sovereignty bias that plagues the central banks.
Mr. Biaggio Bossone and Mr. Abdourahmane Sarr
Our proposal draws on the premise that the availability of stable demand deposits for bank lending, in the process of which inside money is created, does not require any act of intentional saving. The mechanism allowing banks to lend deposits does not function well in low-income countries, owing to a number of structural constraints. We argue that separating inside money creation from lending, and distributing it on a nonlending basis to depositors through specialized payment service institutions, could broaden access to financial resources, fuel non-inflationary, demand-led growth; and foster financial deepening, diversification, and stability. We also argue that the proposed reform is consistent with market incentives and sound economic management.
Mr. Garry J. Schinasi
What is the role of central banks in ensuring financial stability? This paper addresses this controversial subject, in part by drawing on the experiences in Europe, Japan, and the United States, and by examining four questions. What is meant by financial stability? Do central banks have a natural role in ensuring financial stability? What does a central bank need to execute this role effectively? How far have central banks actually gone in safeguarding financial stability? The experience drawn on in the paper suggest that central banks: have a natural role to play; at times may require supervisory information to execute this natural role; and have incurred risks to their balance sheets to ensure financial stability.