Difficulties of transferring risk-based capital requirements to developing countries
In principle, financial regulation seeks to remedy recognized deficiencies in a nation's economic, political, and bureaucratic incentive structures. But the social urgency of particular financial policy problems differ according to a country's stage of development. Regulatory strategies that make sense for industrial countries are unlikely to work the same way in developing countries. The author examines opportunities for transferring the framework of risk-based capital requirements negotiated by the G-10 countries under the auspices of the Bank for International Settlements in Basle. He finds that an unchanged transfer of the Basle framework to developing countries is economically inappropriate and politically infeasible. And its voluntary adapation is difficult because the long-run economic appropriateness of the Basle framework of solvency regulations directly opposes their short-run political embraceability. The author believes that what most urgently needs to be transferred to developing countries are elements of supervisory technology: methods of information collection and management, legal processes for prompt and equitable default resolution, and mechanisms for controlling the incentive conflicts that lead bankers and government supervisors to resist the healthy exit or recapitalization of damaged institutions. As a first step, the author recommends that the World Bank and the Bank for International Settlements promote economically beneficial reforms in information collection and management, reforms that do not preclude flexibility in current prudential standards in individual countries.
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