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.


The role of financial markets

This chapter describes the financial markets as a key to understanding financial systems: capital markets for shares and bonds, money markets, foreign exchange markets, derivatives markets, and other markets related to deposits, loans and pooled investment. For each of these markets, the focus is on their purpose and major players, and on financial intermediation activities. The chapter also describes the construction of tables that illustrate the interconnectedness between institutional sectors, and provides a brief description of the risk elements within the financial system and the ability of the financial accounts and balance sheets to capture such information.




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