The Global Governance of Capital Flows: New Opportunities, Enduring Challenges
International capital mobility has long been associated with financial and banking crises. The Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund contain multi-lateral rules to govern global capital flows. For some countries, especially those in the developing world, the IMF Articles of Agreement remain the core framework under which they have autonomy to regulate cross-border capital flows. For others, these rules have been partly superseded by more recent trade and other economic integration agreements. Thus what used to be a regime of ‘cooperative decentralization’ has become a patchwork of overlapping and inconsistent governance structures that pose significant challenges to nations attempting to regulate global capital flows for stability and growth. This paper traces the history of governing global capital flows and presents a framework for understanding three distinct eras in the modern governance of global capital. The framework emphasizes how power, interests, ideas, and institutions interact to shape each era in different combinations to yield different outcomes. From this perspective, there are many challenges ahead for effectively governing global capital flows.
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