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Mr. R. John Irwin and Mr. Timothy C Irwin
ROC and CAP analysis are alternative methods for evaluating a wide range of diagnostic systems, including assessments of credit risk. ROC analysis is widely used in many fields, but in finance CAP analysis is more common. We compare the two methods, using as an illustration the ability of the OECD’s country risk ratings to predict whether a country will have a program with the IMF (an indicator of financial distress). ROC and CAP analyses both have the advantage of generating measures of accuracy that are independent of the choice of diagnostic threshold, such as risk rating. ROC analysis has other beneficial features, including theories for fitting models to data and for setting the optimal threshold, that we show could also be incorporated into CAP analysis. But the natural interpretation of the ROC measure of accuracy and the independence of ROC curves from the probability of default are advantages unavailable to CAP analysis.
Mr. Ashok Vir Bhatia
Given the rapid evolution of the U.S. financial sector and attendant regulatory challenges, this paper explores ways to fine-tune U.S. oversight arrangements. It surveys the financial landscape, separating a highly regulated, multi-business, and (in terms of relative asset holdings) shrinking “core” from a lightly regulated, more specialized, and rapidly expanding “periphery” explains the U.S. regulatory philosophy and structure, with its focus on core institutions and its jurisdictional complexity; highlights certain new challenges, without presuming to have all the solutions; draws out some broad policy implications, from the “30,000 foot level” and concludes by tabling and discussing one, specific, reform idea.
Mr. Tito Cordella
In an economy à la Diamond and Dybvig (1983), we present an example in which foreign lenders find it profitable to invest in an emerging market if, and only if, the emerging market government imposes taxes on short-term capital inflows. This implies that capital controls that are effective in reducing the vulnerability of emerging markets to financial crises may increase the volume of capital inflows.
Mr. Divya Kirti and Vijay Narasiman
We present a model that describes how different types of bank regulation can interact to affect the likelihood of fire sales in a crisis. In our model, risk shifting motives drive how banks recapitalize following a negative shock, leading banks to concentrate their portfolios. Regulation affects the likelihood of fire sales by giving banks the incentive to sell certain assets and retain others. Ex-post incentives from high risk weights and the interaction of capital and liquidity requirements can make fire sales more likely. Time-varying risk weights may be an effective tool to prevent fire sales.
Ms. Inci Ötker and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu
Financial sector reforms are being considered to address the risks posed by large and complex financial institutions (LCFIs). The vast majority of global finance is intermediated by a handful of these institutions with growing interconnections within and across borders. Common trends that contributed to the recent global crisis included sharp increases in leverage, significant reliance on short-term wholesale funding, growth of off-balance-sheet activities, maturity mismatches, and increased share of revenues from complex products and trading activities. The key objective of the financial sector reforms is to promote a less leveraged, less risky (or better cushioned), and thus a more resilient financial system that supports strong and sustainable economic growth. The recent proposals of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) on capital standards represent a substantial improvement in the quantity and quality of capital in comparison with the pre-crisis situation. The analysis of this paper suggests that, subject to usual caveats associated with limited data disclosures and availability, phase-in arrangements will allow most banks to move to these higher standards through earnings retention, assuming a modest economic and earnings outlook. It also suggests that should banks generate strong earnings in the coming years, and distribute lower dividends, they could rebuild common equity capital ratios faster than required under the current phase-in periods. The analysis of the paper also suggests that the new capital standards will have a significant impact on investment-banking-type activities, including through tighter requirements for trading book exposures. Investment banking activities will also be affected by a host of other regulatory initiatives, including the new accounting rules and higher standards for securitization, derivatives, and trading businesses, as well as measures to restrain certain activities. Yet, LCFIs with an investment banking focus have flexible business models and can adjust their strategies easily to mitigate the effects of the regulatory reforms, notwithstanding a multitude of regulations affecting their activities. The ultimate effect of the reforms on business models remains to be seen until the regulations take their final shape.
Bertrand Candelon and Mr. Amadou N Sy
We use event study methods to compare the market reaction to U.S. and EU-wide stress tests performed from 2009 to 2013. Typically, stress tests have a positive impact on stressed banks’ returns. While the 2009 U.S. stress test had a large positive outcome, the impact of subsequent U.S. exercises decreased over time. The 2011 EU exercise is the only EU-wide stress test that resulted in a significant negative market reaction. Comparing past exercises suggests that the qualitative aspects of the governance of stress tests can matter more for stock market participants than technical elements, such as the level of the minimum capital adequacy threshold or the extent of data disclosure.
Burton David

The IMF Executive Board on March 22 completed the second review of Argentina’s performance under a three-year $13.3 billion loan, paving the way for a disbursement of about $3.1 billion. In completing the review, the Executive Board approved the modification of a structural performance criterion and a waiver for the nonobservance of a performance criterion. Below are excerpts of a statement made by Anne Krueger, Acting Managing Director and Chair, after the Executive Board’s discussion.

İnci Ötker-Robe and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu

This issue of F&D looks at the growing role of emerging markets. Analysis by the IMF's Ayhan Kose and Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University, argues that their economic ascendance will enable emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia to play a more significant part in global economic governance and take on more responsibility for economic and financial stability. And Vivek Arora and Athanasios Vamvakidis measure how China's economy is increasingly affecting the rest of the world not just its neighbors and main trading partners. In addition, F&D examines a variety of topics that are particularly relevant as the world struggles to shake off the crisis. Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi look at the positive effects of stimulus in the United States. Without it, they say, the United States would still be in recession. IMF researchers look at how countries can get debt under control, and what happens when government debt is downgraded. Other articles examine the human costs of unemployment, how inequality can lead over time to financial crisis, and what changes in the way banks do business could mean for the financial system. Two articles look at Islamic banking, which was put to the test during the global crisis and proved its mettle, and in Faces of the Crisis Revisited, we continue to track how the recession affected several individuals around the world. This issue of F&D profiles Princeton economic theorist Avinash Dixit in the regular People in Economics feature, and Back to Basics looks at externalities.