Notes and Manuals > Staff Discussion Notes

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Gustavo Adler, Camila Casas, Mr. Luis M. Cubeddu, Ms. Gita Gopinath, Ms. Nan Li, Sergii Meleshchuk, Ms. Carolina Osorio Buitron, Mr. Damien Puy, and Mr. Yannick Timmer
The extensive use of the US dollar when firms set prices for international trade (dubbed dominant currency pricing) and in their funding (dominant currency financing) has come to the forefront of policy debate, raising questions about how exchange rates work and the benefits of exchange rate flexibility. This Staff Discussion Note documents these features of international trade and finance and explores their implications for how exchange rates can help external rebalancing and buffer macroeconomic shocks.
Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Mr. Ehsan Ebrahimy, Ms. Deniz O Igan, and Mr. Damien Puy
Credit booms are a focal point for policymakers and scholars of financial crises. Yet our understanding of how the real sector behaves during booms, and why some booms may go bad, is limited. Despite a large and growing body of literature, most of the work has focused on aggregate economic activity, and relatively little is known about which industries benefit and which suffer during these episodes. This note aims to fill this gap by analyzing disaggregated output and employment data in a large sample of advanced and emerging market economies between 1970 and 2014.
Mr. Tommaso Mancini Griffoli, Mr. Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, Mr. Itai Agur, Mr. Anil Ari, Mr. John Kiff, Ms. Adina Popescu, and Ms. Celine Rochon
Digitalization is reshaping economic activity, shrinking the role of cash, and spurring new digital forms of money. Central banks have been pondering wheter and how to adapt. One possibility is central bank digital currency (CBDC)-- a widely accessible digital form of fiat money that could be legal tender. This discussion note proposes a conceptual framework to assess the case for CBDC adoption from the perspective of users and central banks. It discusses possible CBDC designs, and explores potential benefits and costs, with a focus on the impact on monetary policy, financial stability, and integrity. This note also surveys research and pilot studies on CBDC by central banks around the world.
Jihad Dagher, Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Mr. Luc Laeven, Mr. Lev Ratnovski, and Mr. Hui Tong
The appropriate level of bank capital and, more generally, a bank’s capacity to absorb losses, has been at the core of the post-crisis policy debate. This paper contributes to the debate by focusing on how much capital would have been needed to avoid imposing losses on bank creditors or resorting to public recapitalizations of banks in past banking crises. The paper also looks at the welfare costs of tighter capital regulation by reviewing the evidence on its potential impact on bank credit and lending rates. Its findings broadly support the range of loss absorbency suggested by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Basel Committee for systemically important banks.
Mr. Dong He, Mr. Karl F Habermeier, Mr. Ross B Leckow, Mr. V. Haksar, Ms. Yasmin Almeida, Ms. Mikari Kashima, Mr. Nadim Kyriakos-Saad, Ms. Hiroko Oura, Tahsin Saadi Sedik, Natalia Stetsenko, and Ms. Concha Verdugo Yepes
New technologies are driving transformational changes in the global financial system. Virtual currencies (VCs) and the underlying distributed ledger systems are among these. VCs offer many potential benefits, but also considerable risks. VCs could raise efficiency and in the long run strengthen financial inclusion. At the same time, VCs could be potential vehicles for money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and fraud. While risks to the conduct of monetary policy seem less likely to arise at this stage given the very small scale of VCs, risks to financial stability may eventually emerge as the new technologies become more widely used. National authorities have begun to address these challenges and will need to calibrate regulation in a manner that appropriately addresses the risks without stifling innovation. As experience is gained, international standards and best practices could be considered to provide guidance on the most appropriate regulatory responses in different fields, thereby promoting harmonization and cooperation across jurisdictions.
Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Martin Cihak, Mr. Papa M N'Diaye, Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Ms. Srobona Mitra, Ms. Annette J Kyobe, Miss Yen N Mooi, and Mr. Seyed Reza Yousefi
Using several recently available global datasets, this Staff Discussion Note examines macroeconomic effects of financial inclusion. It finds significant benefits to economic growth from financial inclusion, but the benefits diminish as financial inclusion and depth become large. Broadening access to credit can compromise economic and bank stability in countries with weak bank supervision. Other forms of financial inclusion—such as access to and use of bank accounts, branches, and ATMs—do not hurt stability, and can be promoted extensively. The note finds that gaps in financial inclusion are associated with economic inequality, but the association appears relatively weak.
Mr. Eugenio M Cerutti, Jihad Dagher, and Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia
The recent global crisis highlighted the risks stemming from real estate booms. This has generated a growing literature trying to better understand the sources and the risks associated with housing and credit booms. This paper complements and supplements the previous work by (i) exploiting more disaggregated data on credit allowing us to dissociate between firm-credit and household (and in some cases mortgage) credit, and (ii) by taking into account the characteristics of the mortgage market, including institutional as well as other factors that vary across countries. This detailed cross-country analysis offers new valuable insights.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Mr. Ali J Al-Eyd, Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, and Andreas Jobst
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for a disproportionate share of output and employment in Europe but are still highly dependent on bank finance, which dried up or became prohibitively expensive during the crisis. Broader access to alternative, long-term finance through securitization would limit their exposure to banking sector difficulties and thus help revive credit. The SDN examines the various impediments to the development of a well-functioning and liquid securitization market in Europe and proposes a comprehensive multi-faceted strategy to support its development through regulatory reforms and infrastructure development together with targeted and time-bound official sector support. This would require (i) greater regulatory differentiation between securities of different quality and underlying asset structures; (ii) harmonized national enforcement and insolvency frameworks and standardized reporting requirements; and (iii) greater capacity of EU authorities to support new issuance. These measures would be underpinned by a pan-European definition of high-quality securitization (HQS) comprising simple, transparent and efficient asset structures receiving preferential regulatory treatment.