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Financial Regulation in a Changing World: Lessons from the Recent Crisis

  • Gerard Caprio, Jr. Williams College

The current crisis is leading many to re-think the role of finance and how it should be regulated. Yet many features of this crisis are decidedly not new. This paper reviews what was regarded as the conventional wisdom on financial regulation prior to the 2007 onset of the crisis, briefly recounts some of the main factors behind the events of the 2007-09 years, and then turns to lessons for regulatory reform. At some point in the 1990s, the financial systems of high-income countries seemed to be functioning well and withstood some significant shocks, yet by 2007 much had changed. However, the regulatory structure did not change in response, and in fact eased in such a way as to exacerbate the instability that was subsequently experienced. A key theme is that financial regulation needs to be more dynamic, taking account of financial innovations and how they affect the sector. No such approach to regulation seems possible without greater accountability for regulators and attention to the incentives for those in the sector and for those who regulate it.

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Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp308.

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Date of creation: 17 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp308
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  1. Rüdiger Fahlenbrach & René M. Stulz, 2009. "Bank CEO Incentives and the Credit Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2009. "Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007-2008," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 77-100, Winter.
  3. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
  4. Philippon, Thomas & Reshef, Ariell, 2009. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909-2006," CEPR Discussion Papers 7282, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Rocco Huang & Lev Ratnovski, 2009. "Why Are Canadian Banks More Resilient?," IMF Working Papers 09/152, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," CEMA Working Papers 595, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  7. Asli Demirg��-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2009. "Finance and Inequality: Theory and Evidence," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 287-318, November.
  8. Gerard Caprio & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Edward Kane, 2008. "The 2007 Meltdown in Structured Securitization: Searching for Lessons not Scapegoats," Center for Development Economics 2008-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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