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Whither monetary and financial stability : the implications of evolving policy regimes
AUTHORS: Borio, Claudio; White, William R.
The international monetary and financial system: a capital account perspective
In analysing the performance of the international monetary and financial system (IMFS), too much attention has been paid to the current account and far too little to the capital account. This is true of both formal analytical models and historical narratives. This approach may be reasonable when financial markets are highly segmented. But it is badly inadequate when they are closely integrated, as they have been most of the time since at least the second half of the 19th century. Zeroing on the capital account shifts the focus from the goods markets to asset markets and balance sheets. Seen through this lens, the IMFS looks quite different. Its main weakness is its propensity to amplify financial surges and collapses that generate costly financial crises ? its ?excess financial elasticity?. And assessing the vulnerabilities it hides requires going beyond the residence/non-resident distinction that underpins the balance of payments to look at the consolidated balance sheets of the decision units that straddle national borders, be these banks or non-financial companies. We illustrate these points by revisiting two defining historical phases in which financial meltdowns figured prominently, the interwar years and the more recent Great Financial Crisis.
AUTHORS: Shin, Hyun Song; James, Harold; Borio, Claudio
The international monetary and financial system: its Achilles heel and what to do about it
This essay argues that the Achilles heel of the international monetary and financial system is that it amplifies the ?excess financial elasticity? of domestic policy regimes, ie it exacerbates their inability to prevent the build-up of financial imbalances, or outsize financial cycles, that lead to serious financial crises and macroeconomic dislocations. This excess financial elasticity view contrasts sharply with two more popular ones, which stress the failure of the system to prevent disruptive current account imbalances and its tendency to generate a structural shortage of safe assets ? the ?excess saving? and ?excess demand for safe assets? views, respectively. In particular, the excess financial elasticity view highlights financial rather than current account imbalances and a persistent expansionary rather than contractionary bias in the system. The failure to adjust domestic policy regimes and their international interaction raises a number of risks: entrenching instability in the global system; returning to the modern-day equivalent of the divisive competitive devaluations of the interwar years; and, ultimately, triggering an epoch-defining seismic rupture in policy regimes, back to an era of trade and financial protectionism and, possibly, stagnation combined with inflation.
AUTHORS: Borio, Claudio
The Globalisation of Inflation: the Growing Importance of Global Value Chains
Greater international economic interconnectedness over recent decades has been changing inflation dynamics. This paper presents evidence that the expansion of global value chains (GVCs), ie cross-border trade in intermediate goods and services, is an important channel through which global economic slack influences domestic inflation. In particular, we document the extent to which the growth in GVCs explains the established empirical correlation between global economic slack and national inflation rates, both across countries and over time. Accounting for the role of GVCs, we also find that the conventional tradebased measures of openness used in previous studies are poor proxies for this transmission channel. The results support the hypothesis that as GVCs expand, direct and indirect competition among economies increases, making domestic inflation more sensitive to the global output gap. This can affect the trade-offs that central banks face when managing inflation.
AUTHORS: Borio, Claudio; Filardo, Andrew J.; Auer, Raphael