Reflections on the crisis and on its lessons for regulatory reform and for central bank policies
This paper discusses the problems exposed by the global financial crisis in the areas of financial regulation and supervision and possible solutions. It describes and evaluates current proposals regarding the role of the central bank as a systemic regulator, the pros and the cons of locating financial supervision in the central bank, and the conflicts and synergies that such an arrangement entails. Once a crisis erupts, central bank liquidity injections constitute a first line of defense. But in the longer term these injections create a trade-off between price and financial stability, and may compromise central bank independence. Problems exposed by the crisis include the growth of a poorly regulated shadow financial system, shortermism in executive compensation packages and consequent adverse incentive effects, the too-big-to-fail problem, procyclicality in the behavior of financial institutions, conflicts of interest in the rating agencies industry and the trade-off between the scope of intermediation through securitization and transparency in the valuation of assets. The paper also discusses international dimensions including international cooperation in regulatory reform and the scope for limiting exchange rate variability. The conclusion points out inherent difficulties in distinguishing ex ante between a fundamentals based expansion and a "bubble."
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