Understanding Financial Accounts

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Understanding Financial Accounts seeks to show how a range of questions on financial developments can be answered with the framework of financial accounts and balance sheets, by providing non-technical explanations illustrated with practical examples: What are the basic principles, concepts and definitions used for this framework which is part of the system of national accounts? What sources and which methodologies are used for their compilation? How are these used to monitor and analyse economic and financial developments? What can we learn about the 2007-2009 economic and financial crisis when looking at the numbers provided in this framework? What can we learn about financial risks and vulnerabilities? This publication is intended for young statisticians, students, journalists, economists, policy makers and citizens, who want to know more about the statistics that are at the heart of the analysis of financial developments in OECD economies.


Globalisation, financial innovation and crises

highlights the usefulness of the framework of financial accounts and balance sheets for understanding financial globalisation, innovation and crises. Developing further on , it provides a more in-depth analysis of countries’ fragilities when it comes to financial exposures. The chapter offers a wider perspective on the build-up of financial risks over time and the contributing roles of international finance and globalisation. It shows how the framework of financial accounts and balance sheets can be mobilised to analyse financial crises, drawing in particular on recent episodes of stress and considering the impact of leverage and financial innovation. After underlining the importance of integrating a micro, entity-level perspective in the macro approach of financial accounts and balance sheets, this chapter concludes by reviewing the international efforts undertaken to enhance countries’ statistical frameworks in response to the 2007-09 economic and financial crisis.



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