Political booms, financial crises: Why popular governments are not always a good sign

Christoph Trebesch, Helios Herrera, Guillermo L. Ordoñez 06 September 2014

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Financial crises: the search for early warning indicators

Financial crises are a recurrent phenomenon in the history of emerging markets and advanced economies alike. To understand the common causes of these crises and to prevent future ones from developing, economists have a long tradition of studying early warning indicators. Two well-documented predictors of financial crises are credit booms and capital flow bonanzas.

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Topics:  Financial markets Politics and economics

Tags:  credit booms, financial crisis, politics, emerging markets, capital flows, public opinion, popularity

The role of corporate saving in global rebalancing

Philippe Bacchetta, Kenza Benhima 24 August 2014

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The increase in global imbalances in the last decade posed a theoretical challenge for international macroeconomics. Why did some less-developed countries with a higher need for capital, like China, lend to richer countries? The inconsistency of standard open-economy dynamic models with actual global capital flows had already been stressed before (e.g. by Lucas 1990), but the sensitivity to this issue became more acute with increasing global imbalances. This stimulated the development of several alternative theoretical frameworks.

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Topics:  International finance International trade

Tags:  interest rates, global imbalances, capital flows, saving, global crisis, credit constraints, savings glut, zero lower bound, corporate saving, global rebalancing

New-breed global investors and emerging-market financial stability

Gaston Gelos, Hiroko Oura 23 August 2014

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The investor base matters since different investors behave differently. During the emerging-market sell-off episodes in 2013 and early 2014:

  • Retail-oriented mutual funds withdrew aggressively, but investors from different regions also tended to behave differently;
  • Institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies with long-term strategies broadly maintained their emerging-market investments.

Figure 1 shows the facts.

Figure 1. Bond flows to emerging-market economies 

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Topics:  Financial markets International finance

Tags:  Pension Funds, financial stability, capital flows, investment, emerging markets, financial deepening, herding, original sin, mutual funds, institutional investors

Why is financial stability essential for key currencies in the international monetary system?

Linda Goldberg, Signe Krogstrup, John Lipsky, Hélène Rey 26 July 2014

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Could the dollar lose its status as the key international currency for international trade and international financial transactions, and if so, what would be the principal contributing factors? Speculation about this issue has long been abundant, and views diverse. After the introduction of the euro, there was much public debate about the euro displacing the dollar (Frankel 2008). The monitoring and analysis included in the ECB’s reports on “The International Role of the Euro” (e.g.

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Topics:  Financial markets International finance

Tags:  reserve currency, financial stability, dollar, capital flows, spillovers, Currency, SIFIs

Do capital controls deflect capital flows?

Paolo Giordani, Michele Ruta, Hans Weisfeld, Ling Zhu 23 June 2014

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The size and volatility of capital flows to developing countries have increased significantly in recent years (Figure 1), leading many economists to argue that national policies and multilateral institutions are needed to govern these flows (Forbes and Klein 2013, Blanchard and Ostry 2012). The IMF itself has reviewed its position on the liberalisation and management of capital flows, while recognising that “much further work remains to be done to improve policy coordination in the financial sector” (IMF 2012, p. 28).

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Topics:  International finance

Tags:  China, capital flows, spillovers, South Africa, capital controls, Brazil, Capital inflows, international capital flows

Capital controls in the 21st century

Barry Eichengreen, Andrew K Rose 05 June 2014

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Capital controls are back. The IMF (2012) has softened its earlier opposition to their use. Some emerging markets – Brazil, for example – have made renewed use of controls since the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. A number of distinguished economists have now suggested tightening and loosening controls in response to a range of economic and financial issues and problems. While the rationales vary, they tend to have in common the assumption that first-best policies are unavailable and that capital controls can be thought of as a second-best intervention.

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Topics:  International finance

Tags:  IMF, capital flows, global financial crisis, capital controls, capital, Macroprudential policy

Turmoil in emerging markets: What’s missing from the story?

Kristin Forbes 05 February 2014

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Emerging markets are going through another period of volatility – and the most popular boogeyman is the US Federal Reserve.

The basic storyline is that less accommodative US monetary policy has caused foreign investors to withdraw capital from emerging markets, causing currency depreciations, equity declines, and increased borrowing costs. In many cases, these adjustments will slow growth and increase the risk of some type of crisis.

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Topics:  International finance

Tags:  Federal Reserve, capital flows, emerging markets, global financial crisis, tapering

Why fiscal sustainability matters

Willem Buiter 10 January 2014

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Does fiscal sustainability matter only when there is a fiscal house on fire, as was the case with the Greek sovereign insolvency in 2011–12? Far from it.

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Topics:  Financial markets Global crisis International finance Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  eurozone, sovereign debt, capital flows, financial crisis, credit booms, fiscal policy, emerging markets, global financial crisis, banking, banks, Eurozone crisis, Currency wars, fiscal sustainability, banking union, sovereign debt restructuring, balance-sheet recession

The next sudden stop

Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan 07 January 2014

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The ominous facts are well known – the strongest predictors of financial crises are domestic credit booms and external debts (Reinhart and Rogoff 2011). In emerging markets, credit booms are generally preceded by large capital inflows (Reinhart and Reinhart 2010). Many high-growth emerging markets have been receiving capital inflows for the last five years as the developed economies have been attending to their wounds from the Global Financial Crisis. Now the tide is reversing. Emerging markets are experiencing slowdowns in growth and widening current-account deficits.

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Topics:  Financial markets International finance

Tags:  capital flows, emerging markets, global financial crisis, sudden stops, Turkey, tapering, liability dollarisation

Investment in the wake of crises: Asia 15 years later

Carmen M Reinhart, Takeshi Tashiro 17 December 2013

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However straightforward the role of investment as a shock absorber in a time of crisis, it is perplexing why it takes so many years to recover afterwards – if it recovers at all. A prolonged investment slump is not a new phenomenon following a deep crisis.

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Topics:  International finance

Tags:  capital flows, Asian crisis, sudden stop

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