Business and Economics > Economics: General

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Mr. Dong He, Annamaria Kokenyne, Xavier Lavayssière, Ms. Inutu Lukonga, Nadine Schwarz, Nobuyasu Sugimoto, and Jeanne Verrier
Capital flow management measures (CFMs) can be part of the broader policy toolkit to help countries reap the benefits of capital flows while managing the associated risks. Their implementation typically requires that financial intermediaries verify the nature of transactions and the identities of transacting parties but is facing the rising challenge of crypto assets. Indeed, crypto assets have become a significant instrument for payments and speculative investments in some countries. They can be traded pseudonymously and held without identification of the residency of the asset holder. Many crypto service providers operate across borders, making supervision and enforcement by national authorities more difficult. The challenges posed by the attributes of crypto assets are compounded by gaps in the legal and regulatory frameworks. This paper aims to discuss how crypto assets could impact the effectiveness of CFMs from a structural and longer-term perspective. To preserve the effectiveness of CFMs against crypto-related challenges, policymakers need to consider a multifaceted strategy whose essential elements include clarifying the legal status of crypto assets and ensuring that CFM laws and regulations cover them; devising a comprehensive, consistent, and coordinated regulatory approach to crypto assets and applying it effectively to CFMs; establishing international collaborative arrangements for supervision of crypto assets; addressing data gaps and leveraging technology (regtech and suptech) to create anomaly-detection models and red-flag indicators that will allow for timely risk monitoring and CFM implementation.
Juan Carlos Hatchondo, Mr. Leonardo Martinez, Kursat Onder, and Mr. Francisco Roch
We study a model of equilibrium sovereign default in which the government issues cocos (contingent convertible bonds) that stipulate a suspension of debt payments when the government faces liquidity shocks in the form of an increase of the bondholders' risk aversion. We find that in spite of reducing the frequency of defaults triggered by liquidity shocks, introducing cocos increases the overall default frequency. By mitigating concerns about liquidity, cocos make indebtedness and default risk more attractive for the government. In contrast, cocos that stipulate debt forgiveness when the government faces the shock, achieve larger welfare gains by reducing default risk.
Mr. Marco Gross, Mr. Thierry Tressel, Xiaodan Ding, and Eugen Tereanu
We present an analysis of the sensitivity of household mortgage probabilities of default (PDs) and loss given default (LGDs) on unemployment rates, house price growth, interest rates, and other drivers. A structural micro-macro simulation model is used to that end. It is anchored in the balance sheets and income-expense flow data from about 95,000 households and 230,000 household members from 21 EU countries and the U.S. We present country-specific nonlinear regressions based on the structural model simulation-implied relation between PDs and LGDs and their drivers. These can be used for macro scenario-conditional forecasting, without requiring the conduct of the micro simulation. We also present a policy counterfactual analysis of the responsiveness of mortgage PDs, LGDs, and bank capitalization conditional on adverse scenarios related to the COVID-19 pandemic across all countries. The economics of debt moratoria and guarantees are discussed against the background of the model-based analysis.
Ms. Marwa Alnasaa, Nikolay Gueorguiev, Mr. Jiro Honda, Eslem Imamoglu, Mr. Paolo Mauro, Keyra Primus, and Mr. Dmitriy L Rozhkov
Empirical investigation of the factors underlying the growing usage of crypto-assets is in its infancy, owing to data limitations. In this paper, we present a simple cross-country analysis drawing on recently released survey-based data. We explore the correlation of crypto-asset usage with indicators of corruption, capital controls, a history of high inflation, and other factors. We find that crypto-asset usage is significantly and positively associated with higher perception of corruption and more intensive capital controls. Notwithstanding the data limitations, the results support the case for regulating crypto-assets, including know-your-customer approaches, as opposed to taking a laissez-faire stance.
Mr. John Kiff, Alessandro Gullo, Mr. Cory Hillier, and Panagiotis Papapanagiotou
Back in 2009, G-20 leaders have called for all standardized over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives to be cleared through central counterparties (CCPs). By now, 18 of the 24 Financial Stability Board (FSB) member jurisdictions have provided for mandatory central clearing frameworks in place, covering at least 90 percent of all standardized OTC derivatives in their jurisdictions. However, the authorities in several countries remain confronted with the hows and wherefores of mandatory central clearing, also in light of the international dimension of OTC derivatives contracts. This paper examines the policy options available to countries that have yet to fully conform to the clearing mandate, centered on the setup of local CCPs or on the use of foreign CCPs, and elaborates on their feasibility, risks and benefits from an economic, legal and tax viewpoint.
Parma Bains, Nobuyasu Sugimoto, and Christopher Wilson
BigTech firms are gradually entering the financial sector and becoming important service providers, particularly in emerging markets. BigTechs have entered financial services using platform-based technology to facilitate payments and more recently expanded into other areas, such as lending, asset management, and insurance services. They accumulate data from their nonfinancial and financial activities and draw on consumer data held in different parts of their business (such as via social media). BigTechs are applying new approaches to existing financial services products and services such as underwriting using big data and are also applying machine learning for their key business decisions, such as pricing and risk management across multiple financial sectors. Incumbent financial firms have also increased their reliance on BigTech firms to host core IT systems (for example, cloud-based services, which have the potential to improve efficiency and security). This rapid and significant expansion of BigTechs in financial services and their interconnectedness with financial service firms are potentially creating new channels of systemic risks. To achieve effective implementation and multiple objectives of financial regulation and supervision, a hybrid approach, combining a mix of entity- and activity-based approaches, is needed.
Tara Iyer
Crypto assets have emerged as an increasingly popular asset class among retail and institutional investors. Although initially considered a fringe asset class, their increased adoption across countries—in emerging markets, in particular—amid bouts of extreme price volatility has raised concerns about their potential financial stability implications. This note examines the extent to which crypto assets have moved to the mainstream by estimating the potential for spillovers between crypto and equity markets in the United States and in emerging markets using daily data on price volatility and returns. The analysis suggests that crypto and equity markets have become increasingly interconnected across economies over time. Spillovers from price volatility of the oldest and most popular crypto asset, Bitcoin, to the S&P 500 and MSCI emerging markets indices have increased by about 12-16 percentage points since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while those from its returns have increased by about 8-10 percentage points. Spillovers from the most traded stablecoin, Tether, to these indices have also increased by about 4-6 percentage points. In absolute terms, spillovers from Bitcoin to global equity markets are significant, explaining about 14-18 percent of the variation in equity price volatility and 8-10 percent of the variation in equity returns. These findings suggest that close monitoring of crypto asset markets and the adoption of appropriate regulatory policies are warranted to mitigate potential financial stability risks.