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Mr. Timothy D. Lane

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Past experience with financial crises places systemic risk oversight at the core of Korea’s approach to the financial system. The Korean authorities have amassed over a decade of experience with macroprudential policies. They have put in place rigorous and sophisticated processes for risk monitoring. They publish first-rate analysis. And they have actively developed measures to mitigate risks to the financial system—notably from FX exposures, and from household indebtedness—as circumstances have changed. But their system has evolved to be highly complex, which poses challenges for coordination, communication, and transparency; moreover, their toolkit needs to be extended. These areas should be the focus of efforts to strengthen the policy framework.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
Noteworthy among the six papers appearing in this latest issue of the IMF's peer-reviewed journal is another installment in the Special Data Section. Anthony Pellechio and John Cady from the IMF's Statistics Department take a close look at differences in IMF data; how and when they could occur; and what the implications of such differences might be for end-users of the IMF's data.
Ali Alichi, Mr. Cheol Hong, and Mr. Sang Chul Ryoo
Korea has been active in implementing targeted macroprudential policies to address specific financial stability concerns. In this paper, we develop a conceptual model that could serve as a building block for the broader framework of macroprudential policy making in Korea. It is assumed that the policy maker imposes taxes on key aggregate financial ratios in the banking system to mitigate excessive leverage over the economic cycle. The model is calibrated for Korea. The results illustrate how countercyclical tools, such as simple taxes on key financial ratios, could be incorporated to enrich the broader macroprudential policy framework in the Korean context.
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. Ashoka Mody and Mr. Se-Jik Kim
In a rational-expectations framework, we model depositors' confidence as a function of the probability of future bank bailouts. We analyze the effect of alternative bank bailout policies on depositors' confidence in an emerging market setting, where liquidity shortages of banks are revealed sequentially and governments cannot credibly commit to bailing out all potentially distressed banks. Our findings suggest that allowing early bank failures and using available liquidity for credible commitments to later bailouts can better boost confidence than early bailouts. This conclusion arises because with a high chance of liquidity shortage in the future, depositors may lose confidence and hence withdraw deposits even from potentially sound banks. Such a policy of late bailouts is likely to receive political support when a full bailout needs to be financed by taxation. The logic of late bailout remains valid even when banks may hide their distress or when closures of early distressed banks create contagion.
Mr. Jongsoon Shin
This paper describes issues in Korea’s corporate sector, the need for restructuring, and the authorities’ initiatives and challenges. It then identifies lessons from other countries’ experience and conducts an econometric analysis based on cross-country aggregate data, compared with previous studies which mostly use firm-level data. This analysis finds that restructuring episodes, while sometimes challenging in the short term, have typically been associated with more rapid economic growth afterward. Corporate restructuring could have a negative effect on the labor and the financial markets in the short term, but is associated with positive growth through increased investment and capital productivity in the medium term, outpacing the negative effects.
Cheng Hoon Lim, Mr. Rishi S Ramchand, Mrs. Helen W Wagner, and Mr. Xiaoyong Wu
This paper surveys institutional arrangements for macroprudential policy in Asia. Central banks in Asia typically have a financial stability mandate, and play a key role in the macroprudential framework. Smaller and more open economies with prudential regulation inside the central bank tend to have institutional arrangements that give the central bank a leading role. In larger and more complex economies where prudential regulation is outside the central bank, the financial stability mandate is usually shared with other agencies and the government tends to play a leading role. Domestic policy coordination is typically performed by a financial stability committee/other coordination body while cross-border cooperation is largely governed by Memoranda of Understanding.
Mr. Fabian Lipinsky and Li Lian Ong
Stock markets play a key role in corporate financing in Asia. However, despite their increasing importance in terms of size and cross-border investment activity, the region’s markets are reputed to be more “idiosyncratic” and less reliant on economic and corporate fundamentals in their pricing. Using a model that draws on international asset pricing and economic theory, as well as accounting literature, we find evidence of greater idiosyncratic influences in the pricing of Asia’s stock markets, compared to their G-7 counterparts, beyond the identified systematic factors and local fundamentals. We also show proof of a significant relationship between the strength of implementation of securities regulations and the “noise” in stock pricing, which suggests that improvements in the regulation of securities markets in Asia could enhance the role of stock markets as stable and reliable sources of financing into the future.