OECD Journal: Financial Market Trends

1995-2872 (online)
1995-2864 (print)
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The twice-yearly journal from OECD providing timely analyses and statistics on financial matters of topical interest and longer-term developments in specific financial sectors. Each issue provides a brief update of trends and prospects in the international and major domestic financial markets along with articles covering such topics as structural and regulatory developments in OECD financial systems, trends in foreign direct investment, trends in privatization, and financial sector statistics covering areas such as bank profitability, insurance, and institutional investors.

Periodically, a small number of articles within one field of financial sector developments – constituting the so-called special focus for the particular issue – may be included.

Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.


Deleveraging, Traditional versus Capital Markets Banking and the Urgent Need to Separate and Recapitalise G-SIFI Banks You do not have access to this content

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Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Paul Atkinson
03 Oct 2012
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Since the crisis, even with massive support from governments and central banks, widespread regulatory changes and promises from bank executives to improve the governance of risk, the world continues to see failures of Globally Systemically Important Financial Institutions (G-SIFIs, like Dexia), and huge losses (most recently from JP Morgan). Banks refuse to lend to each other, the central banks have become the interbank market and ‘bad deleveraging’ bears down on the economy forcing job losses in small- and medium-sized companies. ‘Good deleveraging’ occurs via building capital, and in this respect the US approach to dealing with the crisis provides something of a lesson that policy makers in Europe should take note of. With respect to regulations, the paper shows that capital and liquidity rules create a bias against lending to the enterprise sector (that drives jobs and economic growth). With respect to G-SIFIs, the paper shows how movements in their balance sheets are dominated by derivatives, the exposure to which varies with the cycle in risk. Netting of derivatives provides no protection against market risk, and the collateral and margin calls associated with these swings is both pro-cyclical and dangerous. The paper argues the OECD case that the best way to deal with all of these issues – both materially reducing the risk that arises from too-big-to fail while encouraging well-capitalised retail banks get on with the job of lending to create jobs – is to separate retail banking from securities business and ensure the former is (particularly in Europe) well capitalised. In this respect the paper argues that the non-operating holding company approach with ring-fenced subsidiaries (close to the Vickers proposal in the UK) is perhaps a better model than the US Volcker rule.
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