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Toward an Operational Framework for Financial Stability: “Fuzzy” Measurement and Its Consequences

In: Financial Stability, Monetary Policy, and Central Banking

  • Claudio Borio

    (Bank for International Settlements)

  • Mathias Drehmann

    (Bank for International Settlements)

Over the last decade or so, addressing financial instability has become a policy priority. Despite the efforts made, policymakers are still a long way from developing a satisfactory operational framework. A major challenge complicating this task is the “fuzziness” with which financial (in)stability can be measured. We review the available measurement methodologies and point out several weaknesses. In particular, we caution against heavy reliance on the current generation of macro stress tests, arguing that they can lull policymakers into a false sense of security. Nonetheless, we argue that the “fuzziness” in measurement does not prevent further progress towards an operational framework, as long as it is appropriately accounted for. Crucial features of that framework include: strengthening the macroprudential orientation of financial regulation and supervision; addressing more systematically the procyclicality of the financial system; relying as far as possible on automatic stabilizers rather than discretion, thereby lessening the burden on the real-time measurement of financial stability risks; and setting up institutional arrangements that leverage the comparative expertise of the various authorities involved in safeguarding financial stability, not least financial supervisors and central banks.

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This chapter was published in: Rodrigo Alfaro (ed.) Financial Stability, Monetary Policy, and Central Banking, , chapter 04, pages 063-123, 2011.
This item is provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series with number v15c04pp063-123.
Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchsb:v15c04pp063-123
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