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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The Last Mile: Financial Vulnerabilities and Risks

April 16, 2024

Description: Chapter 1 highlight the near-term global financial stability risks have receded amid expectations that global disinflation is entering its last mile. However, along it, there are several salient risks and a build-up of medium-term vulnerabilities. Chapter 2 assesses vulnerabilities and potential risks to financial stability in corporate private credit, a rapidly growing asset class—traditionally focused on providing loans to midsize firms outside the realms of either commercial banks or public debt markets—that now rivals other major credit markets in size. Chapter 3 shows that while cyber incidents have thus far not been systemic, the probability of severe cyber incidents has increased, posing an acute threat to macrofinancial stability.


Global Financial Stability Report, October 2023: Financial and Climate Policies for a High-Interest-Rate Era

October 10, 2023


October 2023 SSA REO Cover for blurb - PT

Financial and Climate Policies for a High-Interest-Rate Era

Chapter 1 assesses that risks to global growth are skewed to the downside, similar to the assessment in the April 2023 Global Financial Stability Report. Cracks in the financial system may turn into worrisome fault lines should a soft landing of the global economy hoped for by market participants does not materialize. Chapter 2 homes in on the global banking system, providing a fresh assessment of vulnerabilities in a higher-for-longer environment, using an enhanced global stress test and a set of newly developed market-based indicators. In response to the vulnerabilities that are uncovered, enhancements to supervisory practices and tightening of regulatory standards are proposed. Chapter 3 notes that a broad mix of policies is required to unlock the private capital necessary to cover climate mitigation investment needs in emerging market and developing economies.

Global Financial Stability Report, April 2023: Safeguarding Financial Stability amid High Inflation and Geopolitical Risks

April 11, 2023


October 2023 SSA REO Cover for blurb - PT

Safeguarding Financial Stability amid High Inflation and Geopolitical Risks

Chapter 1 analyzes the recent turmoil in the banking sector and the challenges posed by the interaction between tighter monetary and financial conditions and the buildup in vulnerabilities since the global financial crisis. The emergence of stress in financial markets complicates the task of central banks at a time when inflationary pressures are proving to be more persistent than anticipated. Smaller and riskier emerging markets continue to confront worsening debt sustainability trends. Chapter 2 examines nonbank financial intermediaries (NBFIs) and the vulnerabilities that can emerge from elevated leverage, liquidity mismatches, and high levels of interconnectedness. Tools to tackle the financial stability consequences of NBFI stress are proposed, underscoring that direct access to central bank liquidity could prove necessary in times of stress, but implementing appropriate guardrails is paramount. Chapter 3 analyzes the effect of geopolitical tensions on financial fragmentation and explores their implications for financial stability—including through potential capital flow reversals, disruptions of cross-border payments, impact on banks’ funding costs, profitability, and credit provision, and more limited opportunities for international risk diversification. Based on the findings, it draws policy recommendations aimed at strengthening financial oversight, building larger buffers, and enhancing international cooperation.


Global Financial Stability Report, October 2022: Navigating the High-Inflation Environment

October 11, 2022


October 2023 SSA REO Cover for blurb - PT

Navigating the High-Inflation Environment

Chapter 1 analyzes the policy response of central banks to high inflation, the risks of a disorderly tightening of financial conditions, and debt distress among emerging and frontier markets. Markets have been extremely volatile, and a deterioration in market liquidity appears to have amplified price moves. In Europe, the energy crisis is contributing to a worsening outlook. In China, the property sector remains a key source of vulnerability. Chapter 2 examines how to narrow the climate financing gap in emerging market and developing economies. Climate policies, including carbon pricing, climate disclosures, and transition taxonomies, are crucial for enabling private climate finance. Innovative financial instruments can help to scale up private climate finance, but the public sector—including multilateral development banks—will have to play a key supporting role. Chapter 3 analyzes the contributions of open-end investment funds to fragilities in asset markets. Open-end investment funds play a key role in financial markets, but those offering daily redemptions while holding illiquid assets can amplify the effects of adverse shocks by raising the likelihood of investor runs and asset fire sales. This contributes to volatility in asset markets and potentially threatens financial stability.

Global Financial Stability Report, April 2022: Shockwaves from the War in Ukraine Test the Financial System’s Resilience

April 19, 2022


October 2023 SSA REO Cover for blurb - PT

Shockwaves from the War in Ukraine Test the Financial System’s Resilience

Chapter 1 looks at the implications of the war in Ukraine on the financial system. Commodity prices pose challenging trade-offs for central banks. Many emerging and frontier markets are facing especially difficult conditions. In China, financial vulnerabilities remain elevated amid ongoing stress in the property sector and new COVID-19 outbreaks. Central banks should act decisively to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched without jeopardizing the recovery. Policymakers will need to confront the structural issues brought to the fore by the war, including the trade-off between energy security and climate transition. Chapter 2 discusses the sovereign-bank nexus in emerging markets. Bank holdings of domestic sovereign bonds have surged in emerging markets during the pandemic. With public debt at historically high levels and the sovereign credit outlook deteriorating, there is a risk of a negative feedback loop that could threaten macro-financial stability. Chapter 3 examines the challenges to financial stability posed by the rapid rise of risky business segments in fintech. Policies that target both fintech firms and incumbent banks proportionately are needed.


Global Financial Stability Report, October 2021

October 6, 2021

Description: Financial stability risks have been contained so far, reflecting ongoing policy support and a rebound in the global economy earlier this year. Chapter 1 explains that financial conditions have eased further in net in advanced economies but changed little in emerging markets. However, the optimism that propelled markets earlier in the year has faded on growing concerns about the strength of the global recovery, and ongoing supply chain disruptions intensified inflation concerns. Signs of stretched asset valuations in some market segments persist, and pockets of vulnerabilities remain in the nonbank financial sector; recovery is uneven in the corporate sector. Chapter 2 discusses the opportunities and challenges of the crypto ecosystem. Crypto asset providers’ lack of operational or cyber resilience poses risks, and significant data gaps imperil financial integrity. Crypto assets in emerging markets may accelerate dollarization risks. Chapter 3 shows that sustainable funds can support the global transition to a green economy but must be scaled up to have a major impact. It also discusses how a disorderly transition could disrupt the broader investment fund sector in the future.

Global Financial Stability Report, April 2021: Preempting a Legacy of Vulnerabilities

April 6, 2021


Extraordinary policy measures have eased financial conditions and supported the economy, helping to contain financial stability risks. Chapter 1 warns that there is a pressing need to act to avoid a legacy of vulnerabilities while avoiding a broad tightening of financial conditions. Actions taken during the pandemic may have unintended consequences such as stretched valuations and rising financial vulnerabilities. The recovery is also expected to be asynchronous and divergent between advanced and emerging market economies. Given large external financing needs, several emerging markets face challenges, especially if a persistent rise in US rates brings about a repricing of risk and tighter financial conditions. The corporate sector in many countries is emerging from the pandemic overindebted, with notable differences depending on firm size and sector. Concerns about the credit quality of hard-hit borrowers and profitability are likely to weigh on the risk appetite of banks. Chapter 2 studies leverage in the nonfinancial private sector before and during the COVID-19 crisis, pointing out that policymakers face a trade-off between boosting growth in the short term by facilitating an easing of financial conditions and containing future downside risks. This trade-off may be amplified by the existing high and rapidly building leverage, increasing downside risks to future growth. The appropriate timing for deployment of macroprudential tools should be country-specific, depending on the pace of recovery, vulnerabilities, and policy tools available. Chapter 3 turns to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the commercial real estate sector. While there is little evidence of large price misalignments at the onset of the pandemic, signs of overvaluation have now emerged in some economies. Misalignments in commercial real estate prices, especially if they interact with other vulnerabilities, increase downside risks to future growth due to the possibility of sharp price corrections.


Global Financial Stability Report: Bridge to Recovery

October 13, 2020

Description: Near-term global financial stability risks have been contained as an unprecedented policy response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped avert a financial meltdown and maintain the flow of credit to the economy. For the first time, many emerging market central banks have launched asset purchase programs to support the smooth functioning of financial markets and the overall economy. But the outlook remains highly uncertain, and vulnerabilities are rising, representing potential headwinds to recovery. The report presents an assessment of the real-financial disconnect, as well as forward-looking analysis of nonfinancial firms, banks, and emerging market capital flows. After the outbreak, firms’ cash flows were adversely affected as economic activity declined sharply. More vulnerable firms—those with weaker solvency and liquidity positions and smaller size—experienced greater financial stress than their peers in the early stages of the crisis. As the crisis unfolds, corporate liquidity pressures may morph into insolvencies, especially if the recovery is delayed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more vulnerable than large firms with access to capital markets. Although the global banking system is well capitalized, some banking systems may experience capital shortfalls in an adverse scenario, even with the currently deployed policy measures. The report also assesses the pandemic’s impact on firms’ environmental performance to gauge the extent to which the crisis may result in a reversal of the gains posted in recent years.

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