Posted on September 10, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Bas B. Bakker and Christoph Klingen
With all eyes on the euro area, it is easy to forget that only a few years ago the emerging economies of Europe, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, went through a deep economic and financial crisis. This crisis is the topic of a new book that we will introduce to the public this week in Bucharest, London, and Vienna.
One lesson is that your best chance to prevent deep crises is forcefully addressing booms before they get out of hand. Another is that even crises that look abysmal can be contained and overcome— policies to adjust the economy and international financial support do work.
In the half decade leading up to the crisis, easy global financial conditions, confidence in a rapid catch-up with western living standards, and initially underdeveloped financial sectors spawned a tremendous domestic demand boom in the region. Western banking groups bankrolled the bonanza, providing their eastern subsidiaries with the funds to extend the loans that fueled the domestic boom. Continue reading
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Europe, International Monetary Fund, Public debt | Tagged: Baltics, Bucharest, Bulgaria, credit growth, crisis, debt, economic growth, emerging economies, Estonia, euro area, Europe, London, non-performing loans, Poland, Vienna Initiative | 9 Comments »
Posted on October 13, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
(Versions in 中文, 日本語)
Recent large equity sell-offs across Asia and safe haven flows into Japan illustrate perfectly the region’s vulnerabilities to further global shocks. While the region’s fundamentals—built up over the past decade—remain relatively strong, economic uncertainties in Europe and the United States pose large downside risks.
The world economy has entered a dangerous new phase and, as the IMF’s Managing Director stated recently, “what makes the situation all the more urgent is that it has implications for every country.”
Our Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific emphasizes these risks, and stresses the need for policymakers to remain vigilant and nimble in this extraordinarily uncertain climate. The view from here in Tokyo—looking out at the region—may be more serene than the view from other advanced country capitals, but there are storm clouds on the horizon. Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Europe, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: credit growth, derivative markets, domestic demand, downside risks, economic rebalancing, external shocks, foreign investors, global demand, iMFdirect, inclusive growth, inflation, infrastructure investment, International Monetary Fund, monetary policy, overheating, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, stressed banks, unemployment | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Leslie Lipschitz and Bas Bakker
For all the talk today about capital flows into emerging economies, the topic has actually been debated for many years within the IMF.
For a decade or more, we have grappled with the idea that very large capital flows into successful emerging market countries were almost inevitable and would prove extremely difficult to manage.
And now, with capital flows becoming larger and more volatile, old policy dilemmas are resurfacing with even greater force.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Europe, Financial Crisis, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: asset price bubbles, capital flows, credit growth, current account deficits, exchange rate, exchange rate flexibility, exchange rate regimes, external vulnerability, fixed exchange rates, foreign currency exposure, foreign exchange risk, interest rates, investment, macroprudential policies, monetary policy, rates of return, risk premiums | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 8, 2011 by iMFdirect
By José Viñals
When the global financial system was thrown into crisis, many policymakers were shocked to discover a gaping hole in their policy toolkit.
They have since made significant progress in developing macroprudential policy measures aimed at containing system-wide risks in the financial sector. Yet progress has been uneven. Greater efforts are needed to transform this policy patchwork into an effective crisis-prevention toolkit.
Given the enormous economic and human cost of the recent financial debacle, I strongly believe that we cannot afford to miss this opportunity for substantial reform. Continue reading
Filed under: Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, Financial sector supervision, G-20, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: capital requirements, credit growth, crisis prevention, financial stability, global financial crisis, global financial system, loan-to-value ratio, macroprudential policies, macroprudential regulation, regulatory arbitrage, systemic risk | 9 Comments »
Posted on December 7, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
(Version in عربي )
Bank credit has been very slow to pickup in the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). How big a problem is this for their economic recovery?
Sluggish credit growth in the post-crisis period was hardly a unique development, as indicated in our latest Regional Economic Outlook. More than a dozen countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region, and countless more outside the region, shared this experience. But while there are clearer signs of recovery in some countries, credit to the private sector is still barely growing in the GCC, notwithstanding policy efforts to revive it.
It might seem easy to ring the alarm bells. After all, won’t the prospect of weak credit growth restrain economic activity in the short-term? Perhaps. But we believe the negative impact of credit growth may not be quite so severe.
Why not? In part, that answer lies in how we arrived at the current situation. Continue reading
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Middle East, عربي | Tagged: Bahrain, bank credit, capital adequacy, credit growth, credit risk, credit to the private sector, global crisis, Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 7, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
The global financial crisis has led to mounting stress in the banking systems of most countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Private sector credit growth has slowed sharply and even turned negative in real terms in a number of countries, compared with the dramatic increases, ranging from 40 to 80 percent in the period immediately prior to the crisis. The credit slowdown is weighing on economic activity and having policymakers seek ways to restore it, thereby laying the foundation for a resumption in high and sustainable economic growth.
Filed under: Asia, Economic Crisis, Financial Crisis, IMF | Tagged: balance sheets, banking systems, Caucasus, Central Asia, credit growth, currency risk, dollarization, Kazakhstan, nonperforming loans, remittances, Tajikistan | 4 Comments »
Posted on May 25, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
In the midst of an early and uncertain economic recovery from the global crisis, countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have been experiencing a sharp slowdown in the growth of credit to the private sector, by about 30 percentage points on average relative to precrisis peak rates.
For many sectors, firms, and households that depend on bank financing, this slowdown may be forcing them to scale back their spending plans, or to resort to scarce or costly alternative avenues for financing. Slow credit growth may therefore be constraining the strength of the recovery in the short run, in addition to limiting prospects for longer-term growth. Policymakers are understandably concerned.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic research, Financial Crisis, IMF | Tagged: balance sheets, bank funding, bank profitability, capital losses, countercyclical policy, credit culture, credit demand, credit growth, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, lending, liquidity, Morocco, nonperforming loans, private sector, Qatar, risk aversion, Saudi Arabia, supply side, UAE | 4 Comments »