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Economic Policy Implications of the Current Financial Instability


  • José Antonio Ocampo Gaviria

    (Columbia University)


The pro-cyclical behavior inherent in the operation of financial markets is at the heart of the current financial crisis. Against the arguments upheld by orthodox economists, these markets do not stabilize by themselves nor tend to smooth the private spending behavior. This problem has been worsened by the fact that the current prudential regulations are also pro-cyclical. In developing countries, the crisis has blended with structural deficiencies in the operation of the global monetary and financial system, above all the strong pro-cyclical shocks they face and the need of accumulating abundant international reserves so that they can have more room to adopt counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies. Nevertheless, this rational decision of being “self-insured” against crises may have contributed to create global payment imbalances. This paper states that these two dimensions of the world crisis –the absence of a counter-cyclical prudential regulatory framework and the massive “self-insurance” of developing countries– can only be solved with global solutions. The first problem requires the adoption of a regulatory and prudential-supervision counter-cyclical framework by all the countries. The second problem requires the design of better global instruments to manage financial crises in developing countries, so that they can have more “policy room to maneuver” in the adoption of counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies.

Suggested Citation

  • José Antonio Ocampo Gaviria, 2009. "Economic Policy Implications of the Current Financial Instability," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(53-54), pages 191-215, January -.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcr:ensayo:v:1:y:2009:i:53-54:p:191-215

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Serra, Narcis & Stiglitz, Joseph E. (ed.), 2008. "The Washington Consensus Reconsidered: Towards a New Global Governance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199534098, June.
    2. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ayhan Kose & Kenneth Rogoff & Eswar S Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "Effects of Financial Globalization on Developing Countries; Some Empirical Evidence," IMF Occasional Papers 220, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    5. José Ocampo, 2007. "The Instability and Inequities of the Global Reserve System," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 71-96.
    6. White, William R., 2005. "Procyclicality in the Financial System: Do We Need a New Macrofinancial Stabilization Framework?," Kiel Economic Policy Papers 2, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Hyman P. Minsky, 1992. "The Financial Instability Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_74, Levy Economics Institute.
    8. Claudio Borio & Craig Furfine & Philip Lowe, 2001. "Procyclicality of the financial system and financial stability: issues and policy options," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Marrying the macro- and micro-prudential dimensions of financial stability, volume 1, pages 1-57 Bank for International Settlements.
    9. Stiglitz, Joseph & Ocampo, Jose Antonio & Spiegel, Shari & Ffrench-Davis, Ricardo & Nayyar, Deepak, 2006. "Stability with Growth: Macroeconomics, Liberalization and Development," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199288144, June.
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    More about this item


    counter-cyclical policies; financial markets; global imbalances; international crisis; international reserves accumulation; prudential regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation


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