Stephen Cecchetti, Benjamin Cohen, 20 August 2010

The extent of the damage from the global crisis has forced policymakers to rethink how they regulate finance. This column first examines the long-term impact of stronger capital and liquidity requirements and then estimates the transitional economic impact as the new standards are phased in. It argues that, while such reforms may come at a short-term cost, the benefits of a stronger and healthier financial system will be around for years to come.

Gianluca Benigno, Huigang Chen, Christopher Otrok, Alessandro Rebucci, Eric Young, 16 August 2010

The fallout from global crisis has left many calling for economy-wide, macro-prudential policies, such as taxes on capital flows and capital controls. This column argues that the case for such measures is ambiguous at best – the excessive borrowing on which they are predicated is not a general and robust feature of financially developed and integrated economies.

Max Bruche, Gerard Llobet, 09 August 2010

Bank bailouts have been controversial from the outset, with some commentators saying that they reward banks for making risky loans. This column investigates the idea of an asset buyback in which a special purpose vehicle buys bad loans from banks' balance sheets. It argues that these buybacks could be structured to avoid windfall gains.

Raghuram Rajan, 09 July 2010

Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about ‘The Squam Lake Report’, which brings together 15 leading US financial economists to map out a long-term plan for financial regulation reform. Among other things, they discuss capital requirements, contingent convertibles, living wills and executive compensation in financial services. The interview was recorded in London in July 2010.

Stijn Claessens, Richard Herring, Dirk Schoenmaker, 08 July 2010

Financial reform is finally emerging in the major economies but these reforms come up short on one crucial aspect – the resolution of systematically important, i.e., ‘too complex to fail’, cross-border financial institutions. The latest Geneva Report on the World Economy advocates a two-tier solution to this problem – a universal approach for closely integrated countries such as EU members, and a modified universal approach for other countries.

Stijn Claessens, Richard Herring, Dirk Schoenmaker, 08 July 2010

The major economies' financial reforms come up short on one crucial aspect – the resolution of systematically important cross-border financial institutions. This column introduces the latest Geneva Report on the World Economy, which advocates a two-tier solution to this problem – a universal approach for closely integrated countries such as EU members and a modified universal approach for other countries. It explicitly rejects the territorial or go-it-alone approach.

Enrico Perotti, 05 July 2010

This column argues that government measures to restore confidence in the financial system have achieved a “pause in the panic”, but this is not enough. Governments still need to reverse the dramatic slide of the financial system towards unstable funding – a trend that holds a gun to the heads of governments and central banks.

Beatrice Weder di Mauro, Ulrich Klüh, Marco Wagner, Hasan Doluca, 26 June 2010

As G20 leaders meet to discuss financial reform, this column argues that it is not too late for an international solution. It says that the EU and US should lead the way with a tax on systemically important financial institutions. Beyond internalising the costs of systemic risk, such a levy would make an international agreement more likely and raise substantial funds.

Charles Goodhart, 10 June 2010

As a consensus among academics begins to emerge over counter-cyclical financial regulation, former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Charles A E Goodhart outlines why he is sceptical about “conditional convertibles” or CoCos – a form of debt that is “quasi-automatically” transformed into equity when banks get into trouble. Goodhart argues that CoCos would make the system more complex, potentially leading to problematic market dynamics.

Thorsten Beck, Thomas Losse-Müller, 31 May 2010

The global crisis has exposed the frailty of financial sectors the world over and highlighted the need for regulatory reform. This column argues that taxing banks is no panacea. The only way to achieve financial stability and financial integration in Europe is to move towards a European-level bank resolution framework that has both funding and intervention authority.

Ross Levine, 25 May 2010

Many policymakers stress that the global crisis was caused by a series of unforeseen events and “suicidal” behaviour by market players. This column argues that this is a self-serving narrative. Policymakers designed, implemented, and maintained policies that destabilised the financial system in the decade leading up to 2006 – and were fully aware they were doing so. It is a case of “negligent homicide”.

Johan Mathisen, Srobona Mitra, 25 May 2010

In contrast to much of the emerging world, capital inflows to emerging Europe continue to be weak and mixed. How should the region ensure a healthy level of foreign investment while preventing excessive capital inflows and improving the stability of the financial sector? This column argues a comprehensive policy response is needed and recommendations should be tailored to country-specific circumstances.

Giorgio Barba Navaretti, Alberto Pozzolo, Giacomo Calzolari, Micol Levi, 23 May 2010

Many commentators have called for regulation to prevent banks from becoming “too big to fail”. This column adds a cautionary note. A world with only small and domestic banks is no safer. The key benefit of multinational banks – being able to mobilise funds across countries – could still be extremely useful for maintaining stability in times of distress.

Venkatachalam Shunmugam, 18 May 2010

Over-the-counter markets for derivatives have been a subject of blame for the global crisis. This column argues that the rising opacity and barriers to entry in these markets have been sorely overlooked leading to dark pools, flash trading, and front-running. These unfair practises can – at any time – cripple markets. They undermine the premise of free markets and should be stopped.

Dayanand Arora, Francis Rathinam, 11 May 2010

Over-the-counter derivatives were heavily involved in the spread of the global crisis. This column analyses the regulatory framework for such derivatives in India. It argues that moves to tighten the regulatory rope are unnecessary and that a shift to exchange-traded markets may not bring the desired results. Instead, policymakers should strive towards increased disclosure, more transparency, and more standardisation.

Enrico Perotti, 09 May 2010

The recent IMF report to the G20 states that fiscal reforms are essential to recover the costs of the crisis, as well as to contain future risk creation. This column argues that progress on controlling future risk requires a direct tax on systemic risk. This would restore confidence in the ability of policymakers to act preventively in future.

John Van Reenen, 04 May 2010

How can financial regulation be fixed to avoid another global crisis? This column argues that the “heads, I win; tails, society loses” moral hazard in the financial sector has to stop. To do this, policymakers must make bankruptcy credible. If a company has too much debt and becomes insolvent, it should suspend payments and its shareholders and creditors should lose their money.

José-Luis Peydró, Rajkamal Iyer, 25 April 2010

How important are financial linkages in transmitting shocks across the financial system? This column examines evidence from India and finds that if a bank has a high level of exposure to another failing bank, the probability that there will be a run on the bank increases by 34 percentage points. This effect is even stronger when the financial system is weak.

Reint Gropp, Christian Gründl, Andre Güttler, 20 April 2010

Public guarantees in the wake of the global crisis have been wide-spread. This column presents recent research on the effects of a 2001 law to remove government guarantees for German banks. It finds that such guarantees were associated with significant moral hazards and removing them reduced the risk taking of banks, their average loan size and their overall lending volumes.

Harald Hau, 17 April 2010

What good can come from the global crisis? This column argues that a major cause of the crisis was the lack of exchange trading for derivatives, which prevented market prices from signalling their inherent risk – more "missing market" than "market failure". The use of exchange trading for Greek sovereign debt, for example, marks a new and improved era in modern finance.



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