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Out of the Box Thoughts about the International Financial Architecture

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  • Barry J. Eichengreen

Abstract

The Global Credit Crisis of 2008-09 has underscored the urgency of reforming the international financial architecture. While a number of short-term reforms are already in train, this paper contemplates more ambitious reforms of the international financial architecture that might be implemented over the next ten years. It proposes routinizing the expansion of IMF quotas and the conduct of exchange rate surveillance. It contemplates an expanded role for the SDR in international transactions, which would require someone-like the IMF-to act as market maker. It considers proposals for reimposing Glass-Steagall-like restrictions on commercial and investment banking, something that will have to be coordinated internationally to be feasible. Other proposals would require banks to purchase capital insurance; here the question is who would be on the other side of the market. Again there is likely to be a role for the IMF. Then there are arguments for a new agency or institution to deal with cross-border bank insolvencies. Any such entity will require staff support, which might plausibly come from the Fund. Finally, some insist that international colleges of regulators are not enough-that it is desirable to create a World Financial Organization (WFO) with the power to sanction members whose national regulatory policies are not up to international standards. A WFO will similarly need staff support, of which the IMF would be one possible source. All this of course presupposes meaningful IMF governance reform so that the institution has the legitimacy and efficiency to assume these additional responsibilities. The paper therefore concludes with some conventional and unconventional proposals for IMF governance reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry J. Eichengreen, 2009. "Out of the Box Thoughts about the International Financial Architecture," IMF Working Papers 09/116, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/116
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ramírez, Carlos D., 1999. "Did Glass-Steagall Increase the Cost of External Finance for Corporate Investment?: Evidence From Bank and Insurance Company Affiliations," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 372-396, June.
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    3. N/A, 2005. "The Focus of the Journal," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 32(6), pages 791-791, December.
    4. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 365-439.
    5. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
    6. Cornelia Holthausen & Thomas Rønde, 2003. "Cooperation in International Banking Supervision," CIE Discussion Papers 2004-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
    7. Barry Eichengreen, 2010. "Global Imbalances and the Lessons of Bretton Woods," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262514141, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andersson, Fredrik NG, 2016. "A Blessing in Disguise? Banking Crises and Institutional Change," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 135-147.
    2. Steiner, Andreas, 2014. "Reserve accumulation and financial crises: From individual protection to systemic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 126-144.
    3. Rana, Pradumna B., 2013. "From a Centralized to a Decentralized Global Economic Architecture: An Overview," ADBI Working Papers 401, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    4. Adalbert Winkler, 2012. "The Financial Crisis: A Wake-up Call for Strengthening Regional Monitoring of Financial Markets and Regional Coordination of Financial Sector Policies?," Chapters,in: Implications of the Global Financial Crisis for Financial Reform and Regulation in Asia, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Helleiner Eric, 2010. "The New Politics of Global Reserve Reform," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-14, December.
    6. Steiner, Andreas, 2014. "Current account balance and dollar standard: Exploring the linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 65-94.
    7. Williamson John, 2010. "The Future of the Reserve System," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-12, December.
    8. Watanabe, Shingo & Ogura, Masanobu, 2010. "How far apart are the two ACUs from each other? Asian currency unit and Asian currency union," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 152-172, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit risk; Banking sector; Exchange rate policy surveillance; Financial crisis; SDR role; SDR transactions; SDRs; Risk management; Quota increases; Fund role; IMF; International cooperation; International finance; International financial system; financial architecture; international financial architecture; bonds; international financial; financial markets; cat bonds;

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations

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