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What can financial stability reports tell us about macroprudential supervision?

  • Jon Christensson
  • Kenneth Spong
  • Jim Wilkinson

Many countries have suggested macroprudential supervision as a means for earlier identification and better control of the risks that might lead to a financial crisis. Since macroprudential supervision would focus on the financial system in its entirety and on major risks that could threaten financial stability, it shares many of the same goals as the financial stability reports written by most central banks. This article examines the financial stability reports of five central banks to assess how effective they were in identifying the problems that led to the recent financial crisis and what implications they might have for macroprudential supervision. ; The financial stability reports in these five countries were generally successful in foreseeing the risks that contributed to the crisis, but the reports underestimated the severity of the crisis and did not fully anticipate the timing and pattern of important events. While the stress tests in these reports provided insights into the resiliency and capital needs of the banks in these countries, the stresses and scenarios tested often differed from what actually occurred and some of the reports did not consider them to be likely events. One other major challenge for the central banks was in taking the concerns expressed in financial stability reports and linking them to effective and timely supervisory policy. Overall, the reports were a worthwhile exercise in identifying and monitoring key financial trends and emerging risks, but they also indicate the significant challenges macroprudential supervision will have in anticipating and addressing financial market disruptions.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 11-15.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp11-15
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  1. Rodrigo Alfaro & Mathias Drehmann, 2009. "Macro stress tests and crises: what can we learn?," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  2. Claudio Borio & Claudio Mathias Drehmann, 2009. "Towards an operational framework for financial stability: "fuzzy" measurement and its consequences," BIS Working Papers 284, Bank for International Settlements.
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