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International Monetary Fund

Growth in Romania is likely to moderate in 2012, weighed down by the euro area slowdown. The Fifth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement highlights that Romania’s overall track record under the program continues to be strong. All performance criteria for the fifth program review were met, except for accumulation of central government arrears, which was missed by a small margin. The indicative target on local government arrears accumulation was also missed. Progress was made on the large and difficult structural agenda, although more action is needed.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

As the current Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) arrangement comes to an end in July 2016, the authorities have requested a successor arrangement. They have not drawn on the past two arrangements and have successfully reduced fiscal and external vulnerabilities in recent years. In an external environment that remains vulnerable to important downside risks, a successor arrangement would continue to insure against external risks and support the authorities' policies to further strengthen the economy's resilience and promote higher and more inclusive growth.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Hong Kong SAR’s economy benefitted from a strong cyclical upswing through the first half of 2018, supported by the continued global recovery, buoyant domestic sentiment, and the booming property market. However, near-term risks have significantly increased – including those from trade tensions, tighter global financial conditions, and capital outflows from emerging markets. Also, long-term challenges, including from aging, elevated inequality, and the persistent housing shortage, need to be tackled. Prudent macroeconomic policies and ample buffers are in place to help smoothen the transition and ensure continued stability.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
he Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is among the world’s major fintech hubs, well positioned to develop fintech initiatives from its traditional strengths in financial services. Key factors enabling the HKSAR to emerge as a fintech hub include its presence as an international financial center, its free-flowing talent and capital, a highly developed information and technology communication (ITC) infrastructure, and its most unique trait, a geographical and strategic advantage by proximity to the market in Mainland China.
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.
Mr. Luc Laeven
Capital markets can improve risk sharing and the efficiency with which capital is allocated to the real economy, boosting economic growth and welfare. However, despite these potential benefits, not all countries have well developed capital markets. Moreover, government-led initiatives to develop local capital markets have had mixed success. This paper reviews the literature on the benefits and costs of developing local capital markets, and describes the challenges faced in the development of such markets. The paper concludes with a set of policy recommendations emerging from this literature.
Mr. Lev Ratnovski and Mr. Aditya Narain
While public financial institutions (such as public development banks) are commonly associated with developing countries, in fact they are prevalent in the developed world as well. We study a sample of public financial institutions in industrialized countries and identify dominant trends in their organization and oversight. While practices in developed countries may be a useful reference point, a more nuanced approach, accounting for the disparity of institutional environment, regulatory capacity, and government accountability and effectiveness, may be required in developing countries. Further investment in the accumulation of evidence and formulation of best practices in the organization and oversight of public financial institutions seems warranted and necessary. This paper was prepared while Mr. Ratnovski was working in the Financial Supervision and Regulation Division during January-April 2006. The authors are grateful to Jonathan Fiechter, David Marston, and participants of an MCM seminar in April 2006 for their helpful comments.
Palmason Axel

For five days in March, Monterrey, Mexico, was the epicenter of the debate over how best to finance the fight against poverty. At the close of the UN International Conference on Financing for Development, world leaders adopted the “Monterrey Consensus”—a plan to mobilize resources—amid pledges of higher foreign aid, better use of aid, freer trade, enhanced debt relief, and an increased emphasis on capacity building.