Global Financial Stability Report

The Global Financial Stability Report provides an assessment of the global financial system and markets, and addresses emerging market financing in a global context. It focuses on current market conditions, highlighting systemic issues that could pose a risk to financial stability and sustained market access by emerging market borrowers. The Report draws out the financial ramifications of economic imbalances highlighted by the IMF's World Economic Outlook. It contains, as special features, analytical chapters or essays on structural or systemic issues relevant to international financial stability.

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Global Financial Stability Report: Getting the Policy Mix Right

April 6, 2017

Description: The April 2017 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) finds that financial stability has continued to improve since last October. Economic activity has gained momentum and longer-term interest rates have risen, helping to boost the earnings of banks and insurance companies. Despite these improvements, however, threats to financial stability are emerging from elevated political and policy uncertainty around the globe. If policy developments in advanced economies make the path for growth and debt less benign than expected, risk premiums and volatility could rise sharply. In addition, a shift toward protectionism in advanced economies could reduce global growth and trade, impede capital flows, and dampen market sentiment. Getting the policy mix right is crucial. In the United States, policymakers should provide incentives for economic risk taking while guarding against excessive financial risk taking. Emerging market economies should address domestic imbalances to enhance their resilience to external shocks. In Europe, domestic banking systems continue to face significant structural challenges. Furthermore, there should be no rollback of the postcrisis reforms that have strengthened oversight of the financial system. The April 2017 GFSR also includes a chapter that examines how a prolonged low-growth, low-interest rate environment can fundamentally change the nature of financial intermediation. In such an environment, yield curves would likely flatten. Combined with low credit demand, this would lower bank earnings, particularly for smaller, deposit-funded, and less diversified institutions, and presenting long-lasting challenges for life insurers and defined-benefit pension funds. Another chapter assesses the ability of country authorities to influence domestic financial conditions in a financially integrated world. It finds that, despite the significant impact on domestic financial conditions of global shocks, countries retain influence to achieve domestic objectives—specifically, through monetary policy.


IMF Global Financial Stability Report: October 2016: Fostering Stability in a Low-Growth, Low-Rate Era

October 31, 2016

Description: The October 2016 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR): The current report finds that short-term risks to global financial stability have abated since April 2016, but that medium-term risks continue to build. Financial institutions in advanced economies face a number of cyclical and structural challenges and need to adapt to low growth and low interest rates, as well as to an evolving market and regulatory environment. Weak profitability could erode banks’ buffers over time and undermine their ability to support growth. A cyclical recovery will not resolve the problem of low profitability. More deep-rooted reforms and systemic management are needed, especially for European banks. The solvency of many life insurance companies and pension funds is threatened by a prolonged period of low interest rates. Corporate leverage in emerging market economies remains elevated in some countries, but the current favorable external environment presents an opportunity for overly indebted firms to restructure their balance sheets. The political climate is unsettled in many countries. A lack of income growth and a rise in inequality have opened the door for populist, inward-looking policies. These factors make it even harder to tackle legacy problems and further expose economies and markets to shocks. A potent and more balanced policy mix is needed to deliver a stronger path for growth and financial stability, and avoid slipping into a state of financial and economic stagnation. The report also examines how the rise of nonbank financing has altered the impact of monetary policy and finds that fears of a decline in the effectiveness of monetary policy are unfounded. It appears that the transmission of monetary policy is, if anything, stronger in economies with larger nonbank financial sectors. Finally, the report examines the link between corporate governance, investor protection, and financial stability in emerging market economies. It finds that the improvements over the past two decades have helped bolster the resilience of their financial systems. These benefits strengthen the case for further reform.

IMF Global Financial Stability Report: Potent Policies for a Successful Normalization

April 13, 2016

Description: The April 2016 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR)


IMF Global Financial Stability Report: Vulnerabilities, Legacies, and Policy Challenges

October 7, 2015

Description: The October 2015 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR)

IMF Global Financial Stability Report: Navigating Monetary Policy Challenges and Managing Risks

April 8, 2015

Description: The April 2015 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) finds the Global financial stability risks have risen since October. Chapter 1 finds that these risks have also been pivoting away from banks to shadow banks, from solvency to market liquidity risks, and from advanced economies to emerging markets. Chapters 2 and 3 examine developments in international banking and the potential risks stemming from the financial management industry.


IMF Global Financial Stability Report: Risk Taking, Liquidity, and Shadow Banking: Curbing Excess While Promoting Growth

October 1, 2014

Description: The October 2014 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) finds that six years after the start of the crisis, the global economic recovery continues to rely heavily on accommodative monetary policies in advanced economies. Monetary accommodation remains critical in supporting the economy by encouraging economic risk taking in the form of increased real spending by households and greater willingness to invest and hire by businesses. However, prolonged monetary ease may also encourage excessive financial risk taking. Chapter 1 concludes that although economic benefits of monetary ease are becoming more evident in some economies, market and liquidity risks have increased to levels that could compromise financial stability if left unaddressed. The best way to safeguard financial stability and improve the balance between economic and financial risk taking is to put in place policies that enhance the transmission of monetary policy to the real economy—thus promoting economic risk taking—and address financial excesses through well-designed macroprudential measures. Chapter 2 examines the growth of shadow banking around the globe, assessing risks and discussing regulatory responses. Although shadow banking takes vastly different forms within and across countries, some of its key drivers tend to be common to all: search for yield, regulatory circumvention, and demand by institutional investors. The contribution of shadow banks to systemic risks in the financial system is much larger in the United States than in Europe. The chapter calls for a more encompassing (macroprudential) approach to regulation and for enhanced data provision. Chapter 3 discusses how conflicts of interest between bank managers, shareholders, and debt holders can lead to excessive bank risk taking from society’s point of view. It finds that banks with boards of directors independent from management take less risk. There is no clear relation between bank risk and the level of executive compensation, but a better alignment of bankers’ pay with long-term outcomes is associated with less risk.

IMF Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) -- April 2014 -- Table of Contents

April 15, 2014

Description: The April 2014 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) assesses the challenging transitions that the global financial system is currently undergoing on the path to greater stability. Chapter 1 finds that these transitions are far from complete, and stability conditions are far from normal. For advanced and emerging market economies alike, a successful shift from liquidity-driven to growth-driven markets requires a number of elements. The report discusses these elements, including: a normalization of U.S. monetary policy that avoids financial stability risks; financial rebalancing in emerging market economies amid tighter external financial conditions and higher corporate debt levels; further progress in the euro area’s transition from fragmentation to robust integration; and the successful implementation of Abenomics in Japan to deliver sustained growth and stable inflation. Chapter 2 examines the role of the composition of the investor base and local financial systems for the stability of emerging market portfolio flows and asset prices. Chapter 3 looks at the issue of too-important-to-fail and provides new estimates of the implicit funding subsidy received by systemically important banks.


IMF Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) -- October 2013 -- Table of Contents

October 9, 2013

Description: The October 2013 Global Financial Stability (GFSR) Report examines current risks facing the global financial system as it undergoes a series of transitions along the path toward greater financial stability. The United States may soon move to less accommodative monetary policies and higher long-term interest rates as its recovery gains ground. Emerging markets face a transition to more volatile external conditions and higher risk premiums. Japan is moving toward the new “Abenomics” policy regime, and the euro area is moving toward a more robust and safer financial sector. Finally, the global banking system is phasing in stronger regulatory standards. Chapter 1 examines the challenges and risks of each of these transitions. Chapter 2 looks at efforts by policymakers to revive weak credit growth, which has been seen by many as a primary reason behind the slow economic recovery. The chapter argues that policies are most effective if they target the constraints that underlie the weakness in credit. But it cautions policymakers to be aware of the fiscal costs and implications for financial stability of credit-supporting policies. Chapter 3 examines how banking funding structures matter for financial stability and the potential impact of various regulatory reforms. It concludes that careful implementation of reform efforts are important to ensure that financial stability benefits are realized.

IMF Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) -- April 2013 -- Table of Contents

April 17, 2013

Description: The April 2013 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) examines current risks facing the global financial system and policy actions that may mitigate these. The April 2013 report analyzes the key challenges facing financial and nonfinancial firms as they continue to repair their balance sheets and unwind public and private debt overhangs. Chapter 1 also examines short- and medium-term stability risks in the euro area and the vulnerability of emerging market economies to persistent capital inflows. Chapter 2 takes a closer look at whether sovereign credit default swaps markets are good indicators of sovereign credit risk. Chapter 3 reports on unconventional monetary policy in some depth, including the policies pursued by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, and the U.S. Federal Reserve.


Restoring Confidence and Progressing on Reforms -- IMF Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) -- October 2012 -- Table of Contents

October 10, 2012

Description: The October 2012 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) finds increased risks to the global financial system, with the euro area crisis the principal source of concern. The report urges policymakers to act now to restore confidence, reverse capital flight, and reintegrate the euro zone. In both Japan and the United States, steps are needed toward medium-term fiscal adjustment. Emerging market economies have successfully navigated global shocks thus far, but need to guard against future shocks while managing a slowdown in growth. This GFSR also examines whether regulatory reforms are moving the financial system in the right direction, and finds that progress has been limited, partly because many reforms are in the early stages of implementation and partly because crisis intervention methods are still in use in a number of economies, delaying the movement of the financial system onto a safer path. The final chapter assesses whether certain aspects of financial structure enhance economic outcomes. Indeed, some structural features are associated with better outcomes. In particular, financial buffers made up of high-quality capital and truly liquid assets tend to be associated with better economic performance.

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