We analyze a range of macrofinancial indicators to extract signals about cyclical systemic risk across 107 economies over 1995–2020. We construct composite indices of underlying liquidity, solvency and mispricing risks and analyze their patterns over the financial cycle. We find that liquidity and solvency risk indicators tend to be counter-cyclical, whereas mispricing risk ones are procyclical, and they all lead the credit cycle. Our results lend support to high-level accounts that risks were underestimated by stress indicators in the run-up to the 2008 global financial crisis. The policy implications of conflicting risk signals would depend on the phase of the credit cycle.
Can Sever, Rohit Goel, Dimitris Drakopoulos, and Mr. Evan Papageorgiou
The COVID-19 pandemic led many emerging market central banks to adopt, for the first time, unconventional policies in the form of asset purchase programs. In this study, we analyze the effects of these announcements on domestic financial markets using both event studies and local projections methodology. We find that these asset purchase announcements lowered bond yields, did not lead to a depreciation of domestic currencies, and did not have much effect on equities. While the immediate effect of asset purchases appears positive, further consideration of the risks and longer-term effects of unconventional monetary policies is needed. We highlight the trade-offs involved with the implementation of these measures, and discuss their risks. This working paper adds to the debate on how asset purchase programs should be a regular part of the emerging market policy toolkit.
Can fintech credit fill the credit gap in the consumer and business segments? There are few cross-country studies that explore this question. Focusing on marketplace lending, an important part of fintech credit, we use data for 109 countries from 2015 to 2017 to study the relationship between fintech credit to businesses and consumers and various aspects of financial development. Marketplace lending to consumers grows in countries where financial depth declines highlighting the role of fintech credit in filling the credit gap by traditional lenders. This result is particularly strong in low-income countries. In the business segment, marketplace lending expands where financial efficiency declines. Our findings show that low-income countries take advantage of the fintech credit opportunity in the consumer segment but face important challenges in the business segment.
Mr. John Kiff, Jihad Alwazir, Sonja Davidovic, Aquiles Farias, Mr. Ashraf Khan, Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong, Majid Malaika, Mr. Hunter K Monroe, Nobu Sugimoto, Hervé Tourpe, and Peter Zhou
This paper examines key considerations around central bank digital currency (CBDC) for use by the general public, based on a comprehensive review of recent research, central bank experiments, and ongoing discussions among stakeholders. It looks at the reasons why central banks are exploring retail CBDC issuance, policy and design considerations; legal, governance and regulatory perspectives; plus cybersecurity and other risk considerations. This paper makes a contribution to the CBDC literature by suggesting a structured framework to organize discussions on whether or not to issue CBDC, with an operational focus and a project management perspective.
This paper discusses operational issues for countries that want to reform their monetary policy frameworks. It argues that stabilizing short-term interest rates on a day-to-day basis has significant advantages, and thus that short-term interest rates, not reserve money, in most cases should be the daily operating target, including for countries relying on a money targeting policy strategy. The paper discusses how a policy formulation framework based on monetary aggregates can be combined with an operational framework that ensures more stable and predictable short-term rates to enhance policy transmission. It also discusses how to best configure an interest-rate-based operational framework when markets are underdeveloped and liqudity management capacity is weak.
Chikako Baba, Mr. Salvatore Dell'Erba, Ms. Enrica Detragiache, Olamide Harrison, Ms. Aiko Mineshima, Anvar Musayev, and Asghar Shahmoradi
Assessing when credit is excessive is important to understand macro-financial vulnerabilities and guide macroprudential policy. The Basel Credit Gap (BCG) – the deviation of the credit-to-GDP ratio from its long-term trend estimated with a one-sided Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter—is the indicator preferred by the Basel Committee because of its good performance as an early warning of banking crises. However, for a number of European countries this indicator implausibly suggests that credit should go back to its level at the peak of the boom after the credit cycle turns, resulting in large negative gaps that might delay the activation of macroprudential policies. We explore two different approaches—a multivariate filter based on economic theory and a fundamentals-based panel regression. Each approach has pros and cons, but they both provide a useful complement to the BCG in assessing macro-financial vulnerabilities in Europe.