Machine learning tools are well known for their success in prediction. But prediction is not causation, and causal discovery is at the core of most questions concerning economic policy. Recently, however, the literature has focused more on issues of causality. This paper gently introduces some leading work in this area, using a concrete example—assessing the impact of a hypothetical banking crisis on a country’s growth. By enabling consideration of a rich set of potential nonlinearities, and by allowing individually-tailored policy assessments, machine learning can provide an invaluable complement to the skill set of economists within the Fund and beyond.
Mr. Gee Hee Hong, Anne Oeking, Mr. Kenneth H Kang, and Chang Yong Rhee
Asian countries have high demand for U.S. dollars and are sensitive to U.S. dollar funding costs. An important, but often overlooked, component of these costs is the basis spread in the cross-currency swap market that emerges when there are deviations from covered interest parity (CIP). CIP deviations mean that investors need to pay a premium to borrow U.S. dollars or other currencies on a hedged basis via cross-currency swap markets. These deviations can be explained by regulatory changes since the global financial crisis, which have limited arbitrage opportunities and country-specific factors that contribute to a mismatch in the demand and supply of U.S. dollars. We find that an increase in the basis spread tightens financial conditions in net debtor countries, while easing financial conditions in net creditor countries. The main reason is that net debtor countries are, in general, unable to substitute smoothly to other domestic funding channels. Policies that promote reliable alternative funding sources, such as long-term corporate bond market or stable long-term investors, including a “hedging counterpart of last resort,” can help stabilize financial intermediation when U.S. dollar funding markets come under stress.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note analyzes the existing legal and institutional frameworks in Australia, including coordination arrangements and focuses on crisis preparedness, including recovery and resolution planning as well as the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) lender-of-last resort functions. The analysis highlights that Australia has a well-established framework for financial stability, surveillance and policy formulation and the resolution regime for financial institutions has been significantly enhanced since the financial crisis. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has made progress in developing recovery planning requirements for the banking industry, extending these from large to medium sized and smaller banks. However, there is a need to better integrate the recovery planning within the risk management framework and operational testing exercises and to significantly enhance APRA’s work on resolution planning, particularly for the largest banks. The paper recommends that the Australian authorities should introduce an ex-ante funded deposit insurance scheme, based on best international practice.
This paper analyses the nature of the increasing regionalization process in global banking. Despite the large decline in aggregate cross-border banking lending volumes, some parts of the global banking network are currently more interlinked regionally than before the Global Financial Crisis. After developing a simple theoretical model capturing banks' internationalization decisions, our estimation shows that this regionalization trend is present even after controlling for traditional gravitational variables (e.g. distance, language, legal system, etc.), especially among lenders in EMs and non-core banking systems, such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Moreover, this regionalization trend was present before the GFC, but it has increased since then, and it seems to be associated with regulatory variables and the opportunities created by the retrenchment of several European lenders.
The growing incidences of financial crises and their damage to the economy has led policy makers to sharpen the focus on financial stability analysis (FSA), crisis prevention and management over the past 10–15 years. The statistical world has reacted with a number of initiatives, but does more need to be done? Taking a holistic view, based on a review of experiences of policy makers and analysts, this paper identifies common international threads in the data needed for FSA and suggests ways to address these. While there has been an encouragingly constructive response by statisticians, not least through the G-20 Data Gaps Initiative, more work is needed, including with regard to shadow banking, capital flows, corporate borrowing, and granular data. Further, to support FSA, the paper identifies potential enhancements to the conceptual advice in statistical manuals including with regard to foreign currency and remaining maturity.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note assesses the level of implementation of the Contingency Planning and Crisis Management Framework in New Zealand. Work has already begun to identify necessary resources, such as rosters of potential statutory managers and personnel from government agencies and the private sector who could be mobilized to deal with a crisis. This work needs to be further developed. In parallel, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand should continue to document the procedure for appointment of a statutory manager, open bank resolution, and other resolution options. The Treasury should complete “shelf” agreements, which may be required for a Crown guarantee or other support in a crisis.
Galina Hale, Mr. Tümer Kapan, and Ms. Camelia Minoiu
We study the transmission of financial sector shocks across borders through international bank connections. For this purpose, we use data on long-term interbank loans among more than 6,000 banks during 1997-2012 to construct a yearly global network of interbank exposures. We estimate the effect of direct (first-degree) and indirect (second-degree) exposures to countries experiencing systemic banking crises on bank profitability and loan supply. We find that direct exposures to crisis countries squeeze banks' profit margins, thereby reducing their returns. Indirect exposures to crisis countries enhance this effect, while indirect exposures to non-crisis countries mitigate it. Furthermore, crisis exposures have real effects in that they reduce banks' supply of domestic and cross-border loans. Our results, based on a large global sample, support the notion that interconnected financial systems facilitate shock transmission.
In this paper, we develop a methodology to assess potential losses to the government that could arise from bank failures. The approach is intended to be simple, parsimonious, and used in real time. It generates an index that we call the banking sector contingent liability index (BCLI), based on the banking sector’s size, concentration, diversification, leverage, and riskiness of assets. The index is illustrated for 32 advanced and emerging market economies from 2006 to 2013, as well as a group of banks including global systemically important banks (G-SIBs).
Fiscal reporting is intended to warn of fiscal crises while there is still time to prevent them. The recent crisis thus seems to reveal a failure of fiscal reporting: before the crisis, even reports on fiscal risk typically did not mention banks as a possible source of fiscal problems. One reason for silence was that the risk arose partly from implicit guarantees, and governments may have feared that disclosure would increase moral hazard. The crisis cast doubt, however, on the effectiveness of silence in mitigating risks. This paper discusses how fiscal risks from the financial sector could be discussed in reports on fiscal risk, with a view to encouraging their mitigation.