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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.
International Monetary Fund
The Global Financial Safety Net (GFSN) is comprised mainly of countries' own reserves and external public sources of insurance and financing. The main external official arrangements are central bank bilateral swap arrangements (BSAs), regional financial arrangements (RFAs), and the Fund. The safety net seeks to provide countries with insurance against crises, financing when shocks hit, and incentives for sound macroeconomic policies.