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  • Author: Yiping Huang, Tingting Ge
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: When China began economic reform in 1978, it had only one financial institution, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which, at that time, served as both the central bank and a commercial bank and accounted for 93 percent of the country’s total financial assets. This was primarily because, in a centrally planned economy, transfer of funds was arranged by the state and there was little demand for financial intermediation. Once economic reform started, the authorities moved very quickly to establish a very large number of financial institutions and to create various financial markets. Forty years later, China is already an important player in the global financial system, including in the banking sector, direct investment, and bond and equity markets. However, government intervention in the financial system remains widespread and serious. The PBOC still guides commercial banks’ setting of deposit and lending rates through “window guidance,” although the final restriction on deposit rates was removed in 2015. Industry and other policies still play important roles influencing allocation of financial resources by banks and capital markets. The PBOC intervenes in the foreign exchange markets from time to time, through directly buying or selling foreign exchanges, setting the central parity, and determining the daily trading band. The regulators tightly manage cross-border capital flows, and the state still controls majority shares of most large financial institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, Reform, Financial Markets, Banks
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: William A. Carter, William Crumpler
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the threat of cyberattacks has risen in recent years, financial institutions (FIs) and regulators have taken a range of steps to strengthen the security and resilience of the financial system to cyber threats. In the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), regulators have introduced a raft of new regulations and controls to bolster the resilience of FIs in their jurisdictions. While greater attention to—and engagement on—these issues is important, the development of new regulatory regimes across APAC has created challenges for multinational FIs and regulators, and could hinder the growth of the financial services and fintech industries within the region. We reviewed the cybersecurity requirements impacting the financial industry in five key jurisdictions, including the largest regional financial centers and consumer markets in APAC: Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, and India. Through a combination of open-source research and on-the-ground interviews—with regulators; local, regional, and global FIs; policymakers; technology experts; and academics—we sought to understand the range of requirements and approaches from different regulators across the APAC region, and the ways in which they impact cyber risks to the regional financial system. Harmonizing regulators’ approaches to cybersecurity regulation in the region could help reduce systemic risks, improve regulatory efficiency, and make it easier for FIs across APAC to grow. This will not be easy and will require sustained engagement on multiple levels. Cyber threats are a transnational issue and will require a transnational response, particularly in highly integrated regions like APAC. Strengthening the security and resiliency of financial networks across the region will require looking at FIs from an enterprise perspective and understanding the cyber risks they face from the perspective of defenders, not the narrow lens of national borders. This will require principles-based approaches that allow for the wide range of business models and capacities of FIs and regulators across the region, and consolidated auditing, examination, and testing procedures to ensure that regulators have an accurate picture of the risks and controls at institutions under their care. Ultimately, regulators’ goals must be to ensure that strong security and resilience, not redundant compliance, is the focus for FIs.
  • Topic: Security, Cybersecurity, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin S. Feldstein
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to increase the short-term interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, taking it from 2.25% to 2.5%. This was the fourth increase in 12 months, a sequence that had been projected a year ago, and the FOMC members also indicated that there would be two more quarter-point increases in 2019. The announcement soon met with widespread disapproval.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Walter
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report explores the role of emerging-country members in the Basel process, a key aspect of global financial standard setting. It argues that this process has been significantly more politically resilient than adjacent aspects of global economic governance, in part because major emerging countries have perceived continuing “intra-club” benefits from participation within it. Most important among these are learning benefits for key actors within these countries, including incumbent political leaders. Although some emerging countries perceive growing influence over the international financial standard-setting process, many implicitly accept limited influence in return for learning benefits, which are valuable because of the complexity of contemporary financial systems and the sustained policy challenges it creates for advanced and emerging countries alike. The importance of learning benefits also differentiates the Basel process from other international economic organizations in which agenda control and influence over outcomes are more important for emerging-country governments. This helps to explain the relative resilience of the Basel process in the context of continued influence asymmetries and the wider fragmentation of global economic governance. The report also considers some reforms that could further improve the position of emerging countries in the process and bolster its perceived legitimacy among them.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy, Emerging States
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Pepe Zhang
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Four new BRI trends to watch: (i) enforcement of transparency, debt, and environmental safeguards; (ii) growing participation of the private sector; (iii) the role of the advanced economies in BRI; and (iv) new BRI sectors beyond infrastructure Governments and companies in Latin America and the Caribbean should engage and help shape an evolving BRI, mindful of both the opportunities and risks involved The United States can play a key role in setting standards for economic development projects in the region and beyond
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Financial Markets, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The original goal of the previous European Commission – to finish the post 2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) negotiations by the end of the year – is shattered. The December European Council did not reach any final decision, so the earliest deadline is the March EC meeting, with a possibility of slipping into German presidency in the second half of 2020. This would leave a very little time for preparation of partnership agreements with the member states, thus potentially leading to disruption in utilization of EU funding. As of now, it seems that the EU has still a long way to go until it reaches agreement over the future MFF. Member states are negotiating not only about the total size of the future European budgets, but also allocations to various headings or system of resources.
  • Topic: Budget, European Union, Financial Markets, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Andrzej Halesiak, Ernest Pytlarczyk, Mariusz Wieckowski, Stefan Kawalec
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In a properly functioning economy, finance has important role to play in making main sectors of the economy – production, trade, services – to thrive. One of the most important – and often unappreciated – channels by which finance affects the processes taking place in the real sector is the selection of investment projects. It is banks and financial intermediaries that to a great degree decide which projects are carried out in the economy at a given moment, and which are not. If financial institutions are excessively conservative (which today is often an effect of the tight regulatory environment), they will prefer low-risk projects with high levels of collateral (e.g. mortgage loans). A financial system oriented this way will rarely be a source of problems, but at the same time not inclined to finance innovative projects with high potential to benefit the economy. Thus for any economy, a very important question is whether its regulatory framework smartly balances both of these aspects: financial system safety and the need to take on risk. When analyzing the functioning of the financial system, it’s worth noting the gradual blurring of certain traditional boundaries. While decades ago households were the main source of savings in the economy, and the borrowers were enterprises and the public sector, today both households and companies are on both sides, as suppliers and receivers of capital. The boundary between the functioning of banks and capital markets is also increasingly blurred. Today banks operate broadly through the capital market, both as acquirers of securities and as issuers. One area that has been developing dynamically in recent years is the flow of financial resources bypassing traditional intermediaries: direct lending through the peer-to-peer (P2P - direct financing of a project by business partners) and crowdfunding platforms (fundraising by collecting money online).
  • Topic: Demographics, GDP, Financial Markets, Economy, Banks, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Koketso Molefhi
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
  • Abstract: The study examines the impact of financial inclusion on employment creation in Botswana using quarterly time series data for the period 2004-2016. Using Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) model, we find that availability of bank branches, ownership of bank account and borrowing from the commercial bank have a positive impact on employment creation in the short run. Similarly, in the long run, availability of bank branches, ownership of bank account has a positive relationship with employment creation in the long run. Depositors with commercial banks has a negative bearing on employment creation, both in the short run and in the long run. Therefore, policies should be aimed at ensuring easy access into the financial sector by way of reducing costs associated with account opening as well as creating affordable deposit and borrowing windows to the financially excluded groups.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Finance, Financial Markets, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana
  • Author: Michael B Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the post-9/11 era, Washington has waged innovative campaigns against terrorism finance, sanctions evasion, and money laundering. Leveraging America’s heavyweight status in the international financial system, the United States Treasury has isolated and bankrupted rogue regimes, global terrorists, and their enablers. As financial technology transforms global business, the traditional financial system faces new competition across a suite of offerings, ranging from brokerage services to peer to peer lending. In no area is this clearer than in mobile payments, where a global hegemon lies ready to exercise its weight, and it is not the United States
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jae Wook Jung, Kyunghun Kim
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Benefits of financial market integration include cheaper and alternative op-tions of saving and borrowing for households and entrepreneurs. In the global financial market, asset choices for households widen so that individu-als can manage their idiosyncratic income risk more effectively. On the other hand, financial market integration makes investors who hold foreign assets more vulnerable to global financial shocks. In the recent financial crisis, finan-cial market distress which initially arose in the U.S. had an enormous impact on the peripheral countries. This example shows that the strong shock prop-agation occurs via integrated financial markets. The existing literature shows that financial market integration has a sizable impact not only on business cycles in the short run, but also on economic growth in the long run. However, there has been little attention to income distribution, specifically in related to the financial market integration. In this paper, we fill the void in the literature by focusing on the following two styl-ized facts: income inequality has been exacerbated in most countries over the past two decades, and the financial market has been integrated across coun-tries during the same period. In particular, we answer three research questions to investigate the relationship between the two facts. First, how does financial market integration affect income inequality? Second, how do financial market integration and financial market development interact to change income ine-quality? Third, what components do theoretical model need to explain the interaction effect of financial market development and integration on income inequality? We test hypotheses that the effect of financial market openness on inequality is conditional on the level of domestic financial market development when the financial market opens. An empirical study with panel data comprised of 174 countries for the period 1995-2017 finds that the overall effect of finan-cial integration on income inequality is nonlinear. Financial market integration creates the intensive and extensive margins of credit supply which may de-pend on the development level of financial market disproportionally. This paper uncovers a novel empirical evidence that financial market integration and financial market development interact to change income inequality. When other things are controlled, the effect of financial market integration on in-come inequality depends on financial market development. In a country with underdeveloped financial market, income inequality gets worse as financial market opens. On the other hand, when financial market is highly developed, the effect of financial market openness on income inequality is mostly insig-nificant in a statistical sense. The results are still valid with different measures of financial market development, integration, and income inequality. We check that the results are robust as an endogeneity issue among financial market development and integration is controlled. We also suggest some important structures for the conventional economic model to account for our empirical finding as theoretical implications. Based on these implications, extensions of the conventional small open economy model with financial constraints having suggested components such as het-erogeneous holdings of foreign assets across income and asset levels and entrepreneurial shocks will be necessary to understand an interaction of fi-nancial market openness and domestic market development on the distribu-tion of income in a country. Our finding also echoes that studying an eco-nomic mechanism in which economic growth, financial market outcomes, and inequality are endogenously determined.
  • Topic: Development, Income Inequality, Financial Markets, Economic Growth, Integration
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Jennifer Hunt
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: An influential strand of research has tested for the effects of immigration on natives’ wages and employment using exogenous refugee supply shocks as natural experiments. Several studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the effects of noted refugee waves such as the Mariel Boatlift in Miami and post-Soviet refugees to Israel. We show that conflicting findings on the effects of the Mariel Boatlift can be explained by a sudden change in the race composition of the Current Population Survey extracts in 1980, specific to Miami but unrelated to the Boatlift. We also show that conflicting findings on the labor market effects of other important refugee waves can be produced by spurious correlation between the instrument and the endogenous variable introduced by applying a common divisor to both. As a whole, the evidence from refugee waves reinforces the existing consensus that the impact of immigration on average native-born workers is small, and fails to substantiate claims of large detrimental impacts on workers with less than high school.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Ethan Lewis, Hannah Postel
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: An important class of active labor market policy has received little rigorous impact evaluation: immigration barriers intended to improve the terms of employment for domestic workers by deliberately shrinking the workforce. Recent advances in the theory of endogenous technical change suggest that such policies could have limited or even perverse labor market effects, but empirical tests are scarce. We study a natural experiment that excluded almost half a million Mexican ‘bracero’ seasonal agricultural workers from the United States, with the stated goal of raising wages and employment for domestic farm workers. We build a simple model to clarify how the labor market effects of bracero exclusion depend on assumptions about production technology, and test it by collecting novel archival data on the bracero program that allow us to measure state-level exposure to exclusion for the first time. We reject the wage effect of bracero exclusion required by the model in the absence of induced technical change, and fail to reject the hypothesis that exclusion had no eect on US agricultural wages or employment. Important mechanisms for this result include both adoption of less labor-intensive technologies and shifts in crop mix.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Immigration, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Fabian Zuleeg
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: How best to support its industry has been a perennial issue for the European Union (EU). The Commission’s approach has been an attempt to mainstream industrial competitiveness across policy areas. But this hardly constitutes an adequate strategic industrial policy. The EU and its members must recognise that current global pressures require a common and forward-looking approach to ensure that European industry can thrive.
  • Topic: Financial Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: Renata Karkowska
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The goal of this study is to identify empirically how country-level development, taking into account the financial and macroeconomic environment, affect the risk profiles of the banking sector in Europe. Through a dataset that covers 3,399 European banks spanning the period 1996-2011, and the methodology of panel regression, the empirical findings document the heterogeneity of banking risk determinants. I examine the implications of bank leverage that manifest itself as spreading and growing instability. The study contributes to and combines the different strands of literature and understanding of the importance of the links between the variables. It also contributes to the literature by focusing on a group of countries from Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States that have not been studied before. The extended model provides a causal link between risk in the banking sector and the growth of the financial market and macroeconomy. I apply four measures of country-level development that are available in previous studies: share of foreign ownership in the banking sector; the financial freedom index; the real growth rate; and stock market capitalization. Using these measures, I obtain different results which highlight the fact that the effect of macroeconomic and financial development on banking sector risk-taking is ambiguous.
  • Topic: Financial Markets, Economic Growth, Banks, Trade Liberalization, Macroeconomics, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, European Union
  • Author: Stijn Claessens, Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: As recently as 2011, only 42 percent of adult Kenyans had a financial account of any kind; by 2014, according to the Global Findex, database that number had risen to 75 percent. [1] In sub­Saharan Africa, the share of adults with financial accounts rose by nearly half over the same period. Many other developing countries have also recorded gains in access to basic financial services. Much of this progress is being facilitated by the digital revolution of recent decades, which has led to the emergence of new financial services and new delivery channels. Whereas payment services often are the entry point into using formal financial services, they are not the only low­cost and widely accessible financial services being delivered in recent years. Driven by advances in new digital payment services, small­scale credit and new modes for delivering insurance services are being offered in several developing countries. Digital (payment) records are being used to make decisions about provision of credit to small businesses or individuals who do not have traditional collateral or credit history to secure loans. Additionally, affordable mobile systems have led to the provision of new and innovative financial services that would not be economically sustainable under the traditional brick­and­mortar model such as mobile­based crop microinsurance in sub­Saharan Africa and pay­as­you­go energy delivery models for off­grid customers in India, Peru, and Tanzania. [2] Increased access to basic financial services, especially payments services, by larger segments of the population reflects the growing use of digital technologies in developing countries. Simultaneously, the adoption of proper regulation based on country­specific opportunities, needs and conditions has been critical.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hongying Wang
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In recent years, the world has seen rapid growth in China’s financial reach beyond its borders. Following the announcement of a “going out” strategy at the turn of the century, many Chinese enterprises have ventured to invest and operate abroad. After three decades as primarily a recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI), China has now emerged as a major FDI-originating country as well. Much of China’s foreign aid is closely entangled with its outgoing FDI, and it has also been rising. Since 2013, the Chinese government has been pushing for a new One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, aiming to connect China with countries along the ancient Silk Road and a new Maritime Silk Road via infrastructure investment. In addition, since 2009, China has actively promoted the internationalization of its currency, the renminbi (RMB). There has been a great deal of anxiety about the motivations behind China’s going out policy and its possible international consequences. Many view it as an expression of China’s international ambition and a strategy that threatens the existing international order; however, that is not the whole story. An equally important but often less understood issue is the role of China’s domestic politics and political economy in shaping its new activism in foreign financial policy. Moreover, it is unclear how successful the going out policy is. The complexity of China’s going out policy was the topic for a recent round table discussion hosted by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the Foreign Policy Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.[1] Participants discussed a number of issues around two broad themes: the impact of domestic political economy on China’s foreign economic policy and the challenges for China’s external financial strategy — in particular, its OBOR initiative.
  • Topic: Markets, Political Economy, Monetary Policy, Infrastructure, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Jason Thistlewaite, Melissa Menzies
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes that employ a range of different standards to measure climate change risks and corporate sustainability, this task will be challenging. But the diversity of schemes also represents an opportunity to assess which practices are effective at improving corporate accountability for sustainability performance, as well as efficient at producing comparable reports that do not unfairly burden reporting organizations. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the FSB and its Climate Disclosure Task Force.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Governance, G20, Regulation, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tomoo Kikuch, Takehiro Masumoto
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Since 2011, under the Thein Sein government, Myanmar has started to build financial institutions almost from scratch. Japan has played a leading role in this transition, writing off debt, opening the Yangon Stock Exchange, vying for the entry of Japanese banks, and laying out finance-related laws. As in other Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar's oligopolistic economic structure and colonial past present considerable challenges. There is a rich literature on the relationship between well-functioning financial institutions and economic growth, but the causality of this relationship remains inconclusive. This paper examines the preconditions for financial institutions to be a vehicle for Myanmar's development.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Japan, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: Azerbaijan’s tradition in the business of oil and gas started in the 1800’s with the involvement of international oil companies and thanks to the fossil-energy Azerbaijan turned to be one of the world ́s biggest oil producers. Taking into consideration the current status in the country, the Energy Union could provide to Azerbaijan a position of stability and security through the implementation of all 5 policy areas that the EU suggests (supply security, a fully-integrated internal market, energy efficiency, climate action-emision reduction and research and innovation)
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Cristina Juan Carrion
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: During the course of 2015 Azerbaijan suffered the impact of two devaluations of the national currency, Azerbaijani Manat (AZN), due to the decrease of the world oil prices. Given that oil and natural gas accounts for more than 90% of Azerbaijani exports, continued low world oil prices had a critical negative impact on the Azerbaijani economy. The current situation has led Azerbaijan to establish new priorities that could help restructure the financial system at this critical moment. The drastic change in the economic outlook of the country has created the need to open a wider window to the European Union (EU) in order to overcome the current economic downturn.
  • Topic: Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Barbara Nowakowska, Piotr Noceń, Michał Surowski, Michał Popiołek
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the publication, Barabara Nowakowska and Piotr Noceń discuss 'Poland’s Private Equity Market: Current Conditions and Development Prospects', and Michał Surowski and Michał Popiołek describe 'Private Equity From a Bank’s Perspective'.
  • Topic: Development, Markets, Financial Markets, Economic Growth, Banks, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Most money and responsibility for health in large federal countries like India rests with subnational governments — states, provinces, districts, and municipalities. The policies and spending at the subnational level affect the pace, scale, and equity of health improvements in countries that account for much of the world’s disease burden: India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Fiscal transfers between levels of government can — but do not always — play an important role in turning money into outcomes at the subnational level. Well designed, transfers can help put states on a level financial playing field by equalizing spending across states and adjusting allocations for the health risks of each state’s population. Transfers can increase accountability and create incentives for greater spending or effectiveness in service delivery. But transfers are rarely designed with attention to their desired outcomes. To get to better outcomes, international experience suggests that transfers need to be reexamined and reformed along three dimensions. First, central government’s allocation of national revenues to subnational governments should respond to needs and population size. Second, transfers should generate incentives to improve subnational governments’ spending quality and performance on outcomes. Third, independent systems to monitor, evaluate, and provide feedback data on subnational performance can generate greater accountability to the central government, parliaments, and legislatures as well as to citizens. These insights are seemingly simple and suggestive, but each country starts from its own unique history that requires careful technical analysis and political savvy to define reforms with genuine potential to improve health.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wolfgang Streeck
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The rise of the consolidation state follows the displacement of the classical tax state, or Steuerstaat, by what I have called the debt state, a process that began in the 1980s in all rich capitalist democracies. Consolidation is the contemporary response to the “fiscal crisis of the state” envisaged as early as the late 1960s, when postwar growth had come to an end. Both the long-term increase in public debt and the current global attempts to bring it under control were intertwined with the “financialization” of advanced capitalism and its complex functions and dysfunctions. The ongoing shift towards a consolidation state involves a deep rebuilding of the political institutions of postwar democratic capitalism and its international order. This is the case in particular in Europe where consolidation coincides with an unprecedented increase in the scale of political rule under European Monetary Union and with the transformation of the latter into an asymmetric fiscal stabilization regime. The paper focuses on the developing structure of the new consolidation regime and its consequences for the relationship between capitalism and democracy.
  • Topic: Debt, Monetary Policy, Democracy, Capitalism, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dave Grossman, Clint Vince, Sue Tierney
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The 2015 Energy Policy Forum, “Leaning Into the Energy System of the Future,” was co-chaired by Sue Tierney, Managing Principal of The Analysis Group and former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy, and Clint Vince, Chair of the U.S. Energy Practice at Dentons U.S. LLP. Topics discussed included new global energy pricing realities and the effects on domestic energy; the Clean Power Plan; the electricity source mix of the future; and new business models needed to deal with current markets realities.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Global Markets, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Paul Martin, Thomas A. Bernes, Olaf Weber, Hongying Wang, Kevin Carmichael
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On November 15-16, 2015, leaders of the world's major advanced and emerging economies will meet in Antalya, Turkey for the G20 summit. In this special report, CIGI experts present their perspectives and policy analysis on the key priorities facing the G20 at Antalya. The Right Honourable Paul Martin states that the multilateral institutions created to make globalization work should be a G20 priority. Thomas A. Bernes asks whether G20 leaders and the institutions that support them can articulate a “policy upgrade” that brings more credibility than last year’s Brisbane Action Plan. Olaf Weber argues that the next step for the G20 should be the development of policies and guidelines that help to manage climate change and financial risk in a prudential way. Hongying Wang examines China's rare opportunity as it assumes the presidency of the G20 to push for collective new thinking on how to establish a less fragmented and more coherent global framework for investment governance that balances the interests of different stakeholders. Finally, Kevin Carmichael suggests that the G20 should elevate gender balance to the top of its agenda.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Governance, G20, Financial Markets, Turkey
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Runnalls
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 is designed to produce the next round of climate change action. There are reasons to believe that the chances for success at the multilateral level are better now that they were before, but even under the most optimistic scenarios, Paris will not be the end of the negotiations. The Paris summit will be crucial to maintaining the momentum that has been building in the private sector and civil society on the issue of climate change. COP 21 has generated an enormous amount of public interest. Civil society actions both before and during the Paris meeting promise to be on a grand scale. In addition, COP21 has excited action from a number of other levels of government not normally seen at these events. Leaders of the IMF, the World Bank and the OECD have all stated that climate change is the principal economic issue facing the world this century. There is a growing realization among the world's economic decision makers that the shift to a low-carbon economy is not only a necessity, but also may be less costly than we believe. The need to identify both public and private financing solutions is the greatest hurdle facing the Paris COP. CIGI's climate change research is tackling the issue of financing sustainable development, in addition to how agreements can be reached by smaller countries, how to address the problems of the delayed benefits from mitigation, ways that China can exercise leadership in this arena, and how the world's financial institutions can help mobilize climate finance from the private sector.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Regulation, Financial Markets, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Sheng
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Central banks, when purchasing financial assets, should consider selecting assets that will promote sustainability, including climate change mitigation and adaptation. During the 2008 financial crisis, central banks deployed unconventional means to rescue failing banks and insulate economies from depression. Their asset purchases have had strong social impacts, but traditionally, central banks have not explicitly factored social objectives into their decisions or evaluated their impacts beyond the narrow monetary domain. Social impact investing is consistent with a central bank’s mandate to maintain price stability, but those not yet ready to move in this direction should at least incentivize bankers and asset managers to invest in, or lend to, climate mitigation activities and low-emission growth, as well as support a financial transaction tax.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China, the world's leading exporter of electronic products, faces a fundamental dilemma. It is the largest and fastest-growing market for semiconductors, the core component of those electronics products. Yet, at least 80 percent of the semiconductors used in China's electronics products must be imported. As a result, China's trade deficit in semiconductors has more than doubled since 2005 and now exceeds the huge amount it spends on crude oil imports. To correct this unsustainable imbalance, China's new strategy to upgrade its semiconductor industry seeks to move from catching up to forging ahead in semiconductors. The strategy calls for simultaneously strengthening advanced manufacturing and innovation capabilities in China's integrated circuit (IC) design industry and its domestic IC fabrication, primarily through foundry services. Drawing on policy documents and interviews with China-based industry experts, this study takes a close look at the objectives, strategy, and implementation policies of China's new push in semiconductors and examines what this implies for China's prospects in this industry. The study shows that China's new policy resorts to private equity investment rather than subsidy as the tool of industrial policy. The government participates in equity investment and claims it will do so without intervening in management decisions. This policy is expected to reduce the cost of investment funds for a selected group of firms, which is to form a "national team" in the semiconductor industry. China's new policy to upgrade its semiconductor industry through innovation does not represent a radical break with its deeply embedded statist tradition. Within these boundaries, however, the study detects important changes in the direction of a bottom-up, market-led approach to industrial policy. In response to the rising complexity and uncertainty of today's semiconductor industry, the government seems more open to experimentation with new approaches to investment finance and flexible, bottom-up policy implementation, based on multilayered industrial dialogues with private firms. China's policies to forge ahead in semiconductors, thus, provide an interesting example of its current efforts to move from investment-driven catching up to an innovation-driven development model.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Science and Technology, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Unconventional monetary policy (UMP) has had predictable effects. How exit plays out is scenario-dependent. Quantitative easing has had the predictable effect of encouraging currency depreciation and some partner countries may have attempted to offset these exchange rate effects. Korea presents a particularly interesting case: it is relatively small and relatively open and integrated, in both trade and financial terms, with the United States and Japan, two practitioners of UMP. Authorities have acted to limit the won's appreciation primarily against the currency of China, not the US or Japan. Nevertheless, Korea's policy is a source of tension with the US. Under legislation currently being considered, the currency manipulation issue could potentially interfere with Korean efforts to attract direct investment from the US and create an obstacle to Korea joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Sergey Ryabkov, Armen Oganesyan
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: To get down to the facts, in April, Russia’s BrICs presidency got off to a flying start. Within two and a half months, a number of major BrICs related events took place in Russia. Furthermore, a major nonproliferation forum took place, a review conference in new York from late April until late May. this event is held once every five years. and I should also mention perhaps a series of very important, intense and constructive contacts at the top and other levels with the leaders of Latin american countries. This sets the current year apart from the previous year and the year 2013.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Security, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Virgílio Gibbon
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: Situational crises tend to concentrate economic activity in centers where such activity already is historically more significant. As a result, financial markets — especially the organized markets — tend to coalesce around these same centers because they benefit from the higher level of liquidity that concentrated economic activity offers. This undoubtedly was one of the major causes of the waning of the financial market in Rio de Janeiro, and the hegemony conquered by São Paulo as of the 1980s.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Jacques Pelkmans
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: ‘Does EU regulation hinder or stimulate innovation’ is a frequently heard query in the EU, but there is little systematic analytical literature on the issue. Fragmented evidence or anecdotes dominate debates among EU regulatory decision-makers and in European business, insofar as there is a genuine debate at all. This text focuses on the multi-faceted, ambiguous and complex relationship between (EU) regulation and innovation in the economy, and discusses the innovation-enhancing potential of certain regulatory approaches as well as factors that tend to reduce incentives to innovate. We adopt an 'ecosystem' approach to both regulation and innovation and study the interactions between the two ecosystems. This general analysis and survey are complemented by seven case studies of EU regulation enabling and disabling innovation, two horizontal and five sectoral ones. The case studies are preceded by a broader contextual analysis of trends in EU regulation over the last three decades. These trends show the significant transformation of the nature as well as improvement of the quality of EU regulation, largely in the deepened internal market, which tend to have a favourable and lasting effect on the rate of innovation in the EU (other things being equal). Our findings include the following: Regulation can at times be a powerful stimulus to innovation. EU regulation matters at all stages of the innovation process. Different types of regulation can be identified in terms of innovation impact: general or horizontal, innovation specific and sector-specific regulation. More prescriptive regulation tends to hamper innovative activity, whereas the more flexible EU regulation is, the better innovation can be stimulated. Lower compliance and red-tape burdens have a positive effect on innovation. We recommend incorporating a specific test on innovation impacts in the ex-ante impact assessment of EU legislation as well as in ex-post evaluation. There is ample potential for fostering innovation by reviewing the EU regulatory acquis.
  • Topic: European Union, Regulation, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Barbara Błaszczyk, Wiktor Patena
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The study concerns the effects of Polish privatisation program conducted in the years 2008-2011. After drawing a broad picture of this process we investigate the performance of 59 privatised companies, and finally focus on a deeper analysis of three companies, which is the core part of our study. We test the hypotheses that privatisation increases a company's profitability, labour productivity, capital investment spending, plow-back ratio and leverage. In case studies, we additionally explore the effect of privatization on each company’s value. The outcomes concerning the larger group of companies are partly ambiguous (with four hypotheses confirmed and four rejected). Profitability has been not visibly improved, although a number of positive initiatives and improvements in performance occurred. By contrast, the three case studies showed a significant improvement of profitability and all other performance indicators observed, as well as a considerable increase of company value. Our results show that privatisation works, though its full effects need time to occur.
  • Topic: Privatization, Financial Markets, Economy, Economic Growth, State, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Andrzej Reich, Stefan Kawalec
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: It is widely believed that the creation of the banking union initiated the integration of the EU banking market. The process is traced back to June 2012 (EU Summit decided to create the banking union), 4 November 2013 (effective date of the Banking Union Regulation), or 4 November 2014 (operational launch of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, SSM). However, the integration of the EU banking market began much earlier and the creation of the banking union should be considered the final rather than the initial step in the process.
  • Topic: Finance, Financial Markets, Regional Integration, Banks, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Claudio Contador
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The opening of the reinsurance market in Brazil finally took place in 2007, amidst euphoria and great expectations. The process lasted nearly two decades, with little movement, to the great frustration of the companies, international investors and, especially, the domestic insurance market, which was in need of modernization and less government involvement. The exhaustion of the nationalized reinsurance model created in 1939 was evident by the 1990s and became even more visible in that decade, in the face of opportunities for insurance offered by the large investments in infrastructure, and rural, environmental and disaster insurance, among others.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Global Focus
  • Author: Lemma W. Senbet, Gregoire Rota-Graziosi, Rabah Arezki
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between natural resources and capital flight in the form of tax avoidance from multinational corporations. In particular, it focuses on the spillover effects in terms of tax revenue mobilization and stock market development from the thin capitalization rule, a policy instrument aimed at limiting firm tax avoidance through setting limits on a firm’s foreign indebtedness. We exploit the plausibly exogenous within-country variations of data on oil discoveries for a panel of 117 countries during the period 1970–2012. We find evidence that oil discoveries significantly enhance both tax revenue mobilization and stock market development, but only when a thin capitalization rule is in place. We argue that these findings can be explained through the limiting role of a thin capitalization rule in multinational companies’ use of financial transactions among their affiliates or tax havens to transfer part of the profit. The thin capitalization rule may thus not only help limit the erosion of the domestic tax base but may also entice multinational corporations to resort to using and developing the domestic financial system.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets, Economic Growth, Capital Flows, Capital Flight
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Daniel O. Beltran, Laurie Pounder, Charles Thomas
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: The financial turmoil which began in August 2007 originated, in part, because investors reassessed the quality of the assets underlying many asset-backed securities (ABS), particularly U.S. mortgages. The prominence of European banks in the early stages of the turmoil created the perception that foreigners held an outsized share of risky U.S. securities and prompted questions of why Europeans were so exposed. This paper evaluates that perception by quantifying foreign exposure to ABS with U.S. underlying collateral. Using the latest survey data on foreign portfolio holdings of U.S. securities, we find that the ultimate losses that foreigners could incur arising from U.S. underlying assets are small relative to most scale variables, although initial total mark-to-market losses are estimated to be significantly larger. Among other reasons for this difference between ultimate and initial losses, we demonstrate that the securitization chain can amplify mark-to-market price declines in the presence of uncertainty or illiquidity. Finally, we show that, relative to the size of the market, foreigners’ holdings of U.S. mortgage-backed securities do not appear to be elevated compared with their holdings of other U.S. assets.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis, Financial Markets, Mortgages
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Jason Kotter, Uger Lel
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper examines the stock price impact of 163 announcements of Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) investments. We document an average positive risk-adjusted return of 2.1 percent for target firms during two days surrounding SWF acquisition announcements. The announcement effect is both statistically and economically significant. A multivariate analysis shows that the degree of transparency of SWF activities is an important determinant of the market reaction, and both the SWF and the existing shareholders of the target firm benefit from improved SWF disclosure. In addition, target firms’ profitability, growth, and governance do not change significantly in the three-year period following the SWF investment relative to a control sample. These results are robust to a battery of tests. Overall, our findings suggest that SWF investments convey a positive signal to market participants about the target firm, increased SWF transparency
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Financial Markets, Investment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Celine Kauffmann, Lucia Wegner
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: This paper builds on a new database (PRIVMEDA) in order to assess the progress of the privatisation process in the MEDA countries of Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. The first part of the paper offers an overview of the privatisation record from 1990 to 2006. It shows that, as in other parts of the world, the first wave of privatisations in the 1990s, which focused almost exclusively on profit-making enterprises in the tourism, transport, food and construction material sectors, slowed down towards the early 2000s and rebounded in 2005 when larger utilities where earmarked for sale. The second part of the paper assesses the outcome of the privatisation process in light of three key objectives: fiscal proceeds, economic efficiency and the development of the local private sector. It concludes that privatisation in the MEDA region can successfully promote efficiency and private sector development only when embedded in a package of measures, including the setting up of a proper regulatory framework, the improvement of the business climate and the liberalisation of financial markets.
  • Topic: Privatization, Tourism, Regulation, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Malta