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  • Author: Zheng Liansheng
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The shadow banking system was defined in 2007 by Paul McCulley, the managing director of Pacific Investment Management Company, but it began to receive significant attention in the immediate aftermath of the GFC. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the regulatory agencies of different countries, international organizations and think tanks have all carried out in-depth research into shadow banking and have released a series of results. Regulatory reforms have also addressed shadow banking, the most important of which is the US Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which aims to restrain the expansion and risk taking of shadow banking in the United States. The United Kingdom and the European Union have also adopted reforms and built up a supervisory system to track the risks of the shadow banking system.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: David Omand
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper describes the nature of digital intelligence and provides context for the material published as a result of the actions of National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Digital intelligence is presented as enabled by the opportunities of global communications and private sector innovation and as growing in response to changing demands from government and law enforcement, in part mediated through legal, parliamentary and executive regulation. A common set of organizational and ethical norms based on human rights considerations are suggested to govern such modern intelligence activity (both domestic and external) using a three-layer model of security activity on the Internet: securing the use of the Internet for everyday economic and social life; the activity of law enforcement — both nationally and through international agreements — attempting to manage criminal threats exploiting the Internet; and the work of secret intelligence and security agencies using the Internet to gain information on their targets, including in support of law enforcement.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Fan He, Qiyuan Xu
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: With a balance between radicalism and gradualism, renminbi (RMB) cross-border settlement covers all of the items in China's balance of payments (BoP), including financial accounts, although some of these accounts are still controlled by means of quotas and administrative approval. By the end of the first quarter in 2014, the amount of RMB trade settlement had reached ¥11 trillion since the pilot scheme was launched in July 2009. RMB cross-border settlement has become increasingly important for monetary authorities in terms of macroeconomic policy frameworks. This is especially the case with the more sophisticated conditions in global monetary markets, which result not only from the nontraditional monetary policies employed by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, but also the ongoing quantitative easing (QE) tapering by the US Federal Reserve and the spillover effects on emerging economies. It is increasingly important to evaluate the potential influence of RMB internationalization on China's macroeconomy. A framework, which includes monetary supply and demand, was created to analyze the influences of RMB cross-border settlement on China's domestic interest rate, asset price and foreign exchange (forex) reserves. RMB settlement behaves in different ways with the various items in BoP, such as imports, exports, foreign direct investment (FDI), overseas direct investment (ODI), RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII), RMB Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (RQDII) and cross-border loans. It was found that RMB settlement in different items leads to different effects on China's economy. For RMB export settlement, RMB overseas direct investment (RODI) and RQFII at the initial stage, RMB settlement does not affect China's interest rate and asset price. In addition, more favourable to the People's Bank of China (PBoC), foreign exchange reserves increase less with these reforms; therefore, they should be promoted with priority. However, it is necessary to stress that all settlements should be based on real transactions in order to prevent fake exports. For RMB import settlement, RODI and RQDII at the initial stage, these pilot schemes exert influences on China's economy through interest rate changes, causing an additional increase of forex reserves. Although other short-term items in the financial account could also impact the interest rate, the items in this group are either based on real business such as trade and investment or on financial transactions at the initial stage on a small scale. Therefore, this group has a relatively moderate influence on the interest rate. It is important to remember that this negative by-product is a result of the assumption that the PBoC targets exchange rate stability. If the PBoC sets the exchange rate system to be flexible enough, then such pilot schemes will not cause an increase of forex reserves. It is thus essential to advance exchange rate regime reforms to keep up with the steps of RMB internationalization. With the progress in RQDII and RQFII, the endorsement of issuing dim sum bonds for capital backflows and with the increase in lending from the offshore to the onshore market, these types of RMB cross-border settlements will not exert pressure on forex reserves; however, they do have an impact on the money market. If the amount of RMB flowing through these items is large enough, the interest rate and asset price will be significantly affected, and could be in conflict with the intended monetary policy. These types of transactions are the most risky to monetary authorities; therefore, they should be cautious regarding these items. In the short term, RMB settlements in these kinds of items should be regulated with quotas. In the medium to the longer term, these items should be opened in a gradual way.
  • Topic: Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe
  • Author: Chiara Oldan
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives played an important role in the buildup of systemic risk in financial markets before 2007 and in spreading volatility throughout global financial markets during the crisis. In recognition of the financial and economic benefits of derivatives products, the Group of Twenty (G20), under the auspices of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), moved to regulate the use of OTC derivatives. Although a number of scholars have drawn attention to the detrimental effects of the United States and the European Union (EU) to coordinate OTC reform, this overlooks an important aspect of the post-crisis process: the exemption of non-financial operators from OTC derivative regulatory requirements. Critically, they remain exempt under existing legislation regardless of the risks they continue to pose through unreported trades and counterparty risks to financial firms; there is still uncertainty around the pricing of derivatives (i.e., model risk) for non-financial operators that could pose a risk to the financial system. Nevertheless, the lack of coordination between the United States and European Union is detrimental for consistency and coherence among financial sectors. These, and similar inconsistencies in financial regulation, pose risks of conflict and fragmentation that should soon be addressed by the G20. The paper concludes by discussing what lessons can be learned from Canada, after it successfully avoided the worst of the crisis and contained the systemic risks posed by OTC derivatives before and after it.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada
  • Author: Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Reforms of the financial system in the wake of the global financial crisis are incomplete. Beyond reforms, good judgment is essential in a crisis. Short-termism in finance cannot be completely controlled by regulation and supervision. Financial crises are inevitable but need not be as virulent at the global financial crisis. Central banks will have to rethink their policies and how they interact with other agencies partially responsible for maintaining financial system stability.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Miranda Xafa
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The 2012 Greek debt exchange was a watershed event in the euro area debt crisis. It generated fears of contagion and was viewed as a threat to the euro itself. Although it achieved historically unprecedented debt relief, amounting to €106 billion (55 percent of GDP), it was “too little, too late” in terms of restoring Greece's debt sustainability. There is a heated debate as to whether the debt restructuring should have taken place sooner, when Greece's adjustment program was agreed to in May 2010. This paper argues that a deep haircut up front, under threat of legislative action, would have been seen as unnecessary and deeply coercive. But delaying the restructuring beyond mid-2011, when it became clear that Greece's debt was unsustainable, was unjustified. The delay reduced the stock of privately held debt subject to a haircut, possibly making an official debt restructuring inevitable down the road. Initial fears that the Greek debt restructuring would pose a serious threat to the euro area's financial stability proved to be exaggerated. On the contrary, it demonstrated that an orderly default involving a pre-emptive debt restructuring is possible in a monetary union, provided appropriate firewalls are in place to limit contagion risks. With crisis management institutions and procedures now in place in the euro area, and with much stricter fiscal surveillance, the Greek experience is likely to remain unique in the history of debt restructurings; however, some lessons can be learned from its specific features.
  • Topic: Debt, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Patricia M. Goff
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In October 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Government of Canada had reached a "political agreement" with the European Union on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The timing of Mr. Harper's statement was not coincidental. Evidence suggests that talks between Canada and the European Union are actually continuing several months after his announcement, if only on technical elements. Nonetheless, it seems the Government of Canada wanted to signal that a successful end to Canada-EU talks was in sight, just as talks between the United States and the European Union were getting under way towards the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The Canadian government did not want to risk a redirection of European energies away from the Canadian negotiation toward their American counterparts.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada
  • Author: Pierre Siklos, Martin T. Bohl, Philipp Kaufmann
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Soaring prices in European alternative energy stocks and their subsequent tumble have attracted attention from both investors and academics. This paper extends recent research to an international setting and analyzes whether the explosive price behaviour of the mid-2000s was driven by rising crude oil prices and an overall bullish market sentiment. Inflation-adjusted US alternative energy stock prices do not exhibit signs of explosiveness. By contrast, we find strong evidence of explosive price behaviour for European and global sector indices, even after controlling for a set of explanatory variables. Interestingly, while the sector indices plunged with the outbreak of the global financial crisis, idiosyncratic components continued to rise and did not start to decline until after world equity markets had already begun to recover in 2009. This finding suggests a substantial revaluation of alternative energy stock prices in light of intensifying sector competition and shrinking sales margins, and casts some doubts on the existence of a speculative bubble. Nevertheless, this paper observes temporary episodes of explosiveness between 2005 and 2007 followed by rapid collapses, indicating the presence of some irrational exuberance among investors.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: John Whalley, Hejing Chen
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: China, in the next few years, faces the prospect of major regional and bilateral trade negotiations possibly including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand and separate negotiations with India, Korea and Japan, potentially the United States and even possibly the European Union. A likely key element in such negotiations, and one already raised by the United States in the TPP negotiations, is that of trade arrangements involving state-owned enterprises (SOEs). China is viewed from outside as having a large SOE sector, and large SOEs are viewed as having a protected monopoly position in domestic Chinese markets.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, India, Asia, Australia, Korea
  • Author: Bruce Muirhead
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Since its widespread settlement by Europeans in the 1840s, New Zealand (NZ) has been an agricultural economy. As has been pointed out “there [has been] no serious challenge to the fundamental precept that the country's economy rested on an agricultural foundation” (Macdonald and Thomson 1987, 231), and dairy has been a significant focus of that base. Dairy production was introduced to New Zealand with the clear intent to establish New Zealand as an adjunct to the economic needs of Britain (Hawke 1985). Indeed, the closeness of the relationship between “the Britain of the south” and the metropolitan centre is one of the fundamental characteristics of any environmental history of NZ agriculture (Pawson 2008). This would persist in a material sense for more than a century, until the United Kingdom joined the European Community (EC) in 1973.
  • Topic: Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand