International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The current report finds that short-term risks to global financial stability have abated since April 2016, but that medium-term risks continue to build. Financial institutions in advanced economies face a number of cyclical and structural challenges and need to adapt to low growth and low interest rates, as well as to an evolving market and regulatory environment. Weak profitability could erode banks’ buffers over time and undermine their ability to support growth. A cyclical recovery will not resolve the problem of low profitability. More deep-rooted reforms and systemic management are needed, especially for European banks. The solvency of many life insurance companies and pension funds is threatened by a prolonged period of low interest rates. Corporate leverage in emerging market economies remains elevated in some countries, but the current favorable external environment presents an opportunity for overly indebted firms to restructure their balance sheets. The political climate is unsettled in many countries. A lack of income growth and a rise in inequality have opened the door for populist, inward-looking policies. These factors make it even harder to tackle legacy problems and further expose economies and markets to shocks. A potent and more balanced policy mix is needed to deliver a stronger path for growth and financial stability, and avoid slipping into a state of financial and economic stagnation. The report also examines how the rise of nonbank financing has altered the impact of monetary policy and finds that fears of a decline in the effectiveness of monetary policy are unfounded. It appears that the transmission of monetary policy is, if anything, stronger in economies with larger nonbank financial sectors. Finally, the report examines the link between corporate governance, investor protection, and financial stability in emerging market economies. It finds that the improvements over the past two decades have helped bolster the resilience of their financial systems. These benefits strengthen the case for further reform.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The October 2019 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) identifies the current key vulnerabilities in the global financial system as the rise in corporate debt burdens, increasing holdings of riskier and more illiquid assets by institutional investors, and growing reliance on external borrowing by emerging and frontier market economies. The report proposes that policymakers mitigate these risks through stricter supervisory and macroprudential oversight of firms, strengthened oversight and disclosure for institutional investors, and the implementation of prudent sovereign debt management practices and frameworks for emerging and frontier market economies.
Assessing financial systems' stability has required the IMF to dig deeper into financial sector issues and to include financial integrity elements in its assessments. Integrity elements are increasingly being addressed by international standards. More progress is needed, however, to prepare a comprehensive framework to prevent the abuse of the financial systems by both outsiders and insiders.
This paper presents a Detailed Assessment of the Isle of Man’s (IOM) observance of the Insurance Core Principles. Regulation has been strengthened since the 2003 Offshore Financial Center assessment. The Insurance and Pension Authority has been putting in place Memorandums of Understanding with home regulators and is exchanging information extensively. After rapid growth in 2005 and 2006, new business volumes and investment performance have been adversely affected by weaker global equity markets. The number of captives established in the IOM has fallen, reflecting competition from jurisdictions within the European Union.
Chile has a large but relatively illiquid stock market. Global factors such as global risk appetite and monetary policy in advanced economies are key cyclical determinants of liquidity in Chilean equities. Evidence from a cross-section of emerging markets suggests strong protection of minority shareholders can help improve stock market liquitidity. Currently, illiquid in Chilean may have to pay 3½ percent more as cost of equity. Corporate governance should be improved, namely through the adoption of a stewardship code.
This article reviews Germany's corporate governance system and the effectiveness of recent reforms. Since the early 1990s far-reaching reforms have complemented the traditional stakeholder system with important elements of the shareholder system. Instead of taking a view on the superiority of either system, this article raises the important question whether these reforms created sufficient flexibility for the market to optimize its corporate governance structure within well established social and legal norms. It concludes that there is scope for enhancing flexibility in three core areas, relating to (i) internal control mechanisms, especially the flexibility of board structures; (ii) self-dealing; and (iii) external control, particularly take-over activity.
Rui Albuquerque, Mr. Luis Brandao-Marques, Miguel A. Ferreira, and Pedro Matos
We develop and test the hypothesis that foreign direct investment promotes corporate governance spillovers in the host country. Using firm-level data on cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and corporate governance in 22 countries, we find that cross-border M&As are associated with subsequent improvements in the governance, valuation, and productivity of the target firms’ local rivals. This positive spillover effect is stronger when the acquirer is from a country with stronger shareholder protection and if the target’s industry is more competitive. We conclude that the international market for corporate control promotes the adoption of better corporate governance practices around the world.
The bulk of corporate governance theory examines the agency problems that arise from two extreme ownership structures: 100 percent small shareholders or one large, controlling owner combined with small shareholders. In this paper, we question the empirical validity of this dichotomy. In fact, one-third of publicly listed firms in Europe have multiple large owners, and the market value of firms with multiple blockholders differs from firms with a single large owner and from widely-held firms. Moreover, the relationship between corporate valuations and the distribution of cash-flow rights across multiple large owners is consistent with the predictions of recent theoretical models.
The papers in this volume draw on background work done in preparation for the study Governance of the IMF: An Evaluation, Independent Evaluation Office, International Monetary Fund, May 28, 2008 (available at http://www.ieo-imf.org). This compilation presents in one collection the most recent work to date on the subject of governance of the IMF and contributes to the ongoing dialogue on how best to strengthen the governance of this important global institution. Good governance can contribute to the IMF’s legitimacy by ensuring appropriate voice and representation for the membership, by allowing the Fund to fulfill its mandates effectively and efficiently, and by facilitating accountability for relevant stakeholders. Three main conclusions follow from the studies in this volume. First, to strengthen its legitimacy and effectiveness, the Fund needs greater, higher level and more transparent involvement of member country authorities in its governance. Second, the Board needs to play a stronger role in strategy development and oversight, which requires a shift away from the day-to-day business of the organization. Finally, there are significant accountability gaps that need to be addressed if the IMF is to remain effective and regain legitimacy.