Stephan Danninger, Ravi Balakrishnan, Selim Elekdag, Irina Tytell, 27 April 2009

Financial stress reached unprecedented levels in 2008. This column presents a new IMF financial stress index and puts the current crisis into historical perspective. It also shows that bank-lending linkages appear to be the main driver of the transmission of stress. International financial integration brings both opportunities for growth and risks of contagion.

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