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  • Author: John Hawkins
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: International bank lending is a major component of capital flows between advanced and emerging economies. However, in recent years these flows have been going the wrong way, like water flowing uphill. Even four years after the Asian crisis, there is a net flow of funds from emerging economies to banks in advanced economies. This paper looks at this phenomenon, starting by setting out the relevant data, and then looking at factors influencing these flows. These include both cyclical influences (both 'push' and 'pull') and structural changes within the banking industry. There is some evidence that international lenders are now discriminating more between the various emerging economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, Guillermo LarraĆ­n
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: During the Asian crisis, intermediate exchange rate regimes vanished. It has been argued that those regimes were no longer useful and only the extremes remained valid. The paper analyses three foreign exchange regimes: Argentina (pegged), Chile (band) and Mexico (float). The Argentinean currency board delivered low financial volatility while it was credible, but even then it displayed high real volatility. Mexican float performed well in periods of instability isolating the real sector. The Chilean band delivered a mixed outcome as compared to Argentina and Mexico. This is linked apparently to a loss in the band's credibility, associated to policy mismanagement and an over-appreciation in the biennium before the crisis. Optimal exchange rate regimes vary across time and the conjuncture. Exit strategies are part of the election of the optimal system, including a flexible policy package rather than a single rigid policy tool.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Helmut Reisen
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The increased importance of rating agencies for emerging-market finance has brought their work to the attention of a wider group of observers - and under criticism. This paper evaluates whether the importance of ratings for developing-country finance has changed since the Asian Crisis and whether rating agencies have modified the determinants for their rating decisions. It also provides an analysis on recent suggestions by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, as these are very important for gauging the future role of sovereign ratings for foreign debt finance in developing countries. While the explanatory power of conventional rating determinants has declined since the Asian crisis, recent rating performance for Argentina and Turkey can still be qualified as lagging the markets, as variables of financial-sector strength and the endogenous effects of capital flows on macroeconomic variables seem to remain underemphasized in rating assessments. The market impact of sovereign ratings is predicted to decline as agencies have started to modify their country ceiling policy and as market participants try to exploit bond trading opportunities arising from the lagged nature of ratings. The paper presents theory and evidence to suggest that the Basel II Accord will destabilise private capital flows to the developing countries, if the current proposal to link regulatory bank capital to sovereign ratings is maintained: Assigning fixed minimum capital to bank assets whose risk weights are in turn determined by market-lagging cyclically determined ratings will reinforce the tendency of the capital ratio to work in a pro-cyclical way.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Asia, Argentina