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4 - Tower of Contrarian Thinking

How the BIS Helped Reframe Understandings of Financial Stability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2020

Claudio Borio
Affiliation:
Bank for International Settlements
Stijn Claessens
Affiliation:
Bank for International Settlements
Piet Clement
Affiliation:
Bank for International Settlements
Robert N. McCauley
Affiliation:
Bank for International Settlements
Hyun Song Shin
Affiliation:
Bank for International Settlements
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Summary

This chapter discusses the contribution of BIS research to the shift in the way financial stability issues have been looked at before and after the great financial crisis of 2007–9. It also considers the policy implications for the post-crisis reforms. The 1997–8 Asian crisis was an important turning point, focusing BIS research on the endogenous causes of financial instability and thus on the resilience and the risks of the financial system as a whole. From the late 1990s, the BIS started advocating a macroprudential approach to financial stability, including the adoption of countercyclical macroprudential policies. These ideas, while being shared by some academics and central banks, were largely ignored in policy circles, including in the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The chapter argues that the great financial crisis of 2007–9 catapulted these same ideas to the top of the reform agenda. Work done previously by the BIS and others, i.a. on the issue of countercyclical capital buffers, could be leveraged and find its way on the reform agenda pushed by the Financial Stability Board and the G20. The ‘measured contrarianism‘ of the BIS in this area thus added real value.

Type
Chapter
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Promoting Global Monetary and Financial Stability
The Bank for International Settlements after Bretton Woods, 1973–2020
, pp. 134 - 167
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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