Financial Markets

151 - 180 of 445
22 February 2010

Information asymmetries can severely limit the cross-border border expansion of banks, if entering banks can only obtain incomplete information about potential new clients. Such asymmetries are reduced by credit registers, which distribute financial data on bank clients.

10 February 2010

The world economy is just starting to recover from the most disastrous episode in the history of financial globalisation. Understanding what happened is essential.

07 January 2010

Since 2003, the EU and the US have conducted a vibrant regulatory dialogue on financial regulation, but domestic priorities seem to have taken precedence in response to the financial crisis. This ECMI Policy Brief compares the institutional and regulatory changes occurring on both sides of the Atlantic. On the institutional side, it compares macro- and micro-prudential reforms. On the regulatory side, it compares four key areas: bank capital requirements, reform of the OTC derivative markets, and the regulation of credit ratings agencies and hedge funds.

01 October 2009

This paper reviews prevailing credit derivatives markets regulation and comments on the need to regulate these markets in light of the recent financial crisis. Although credit derivatives may have beneficial effects such as enhancing the resilience of the financial system, these benefits can only be reaped if credit derivatives are used prudently and responsibly by all market participants. We argue that the current regulatory regime is not sufficient to induce market participants to use credit derivatives in a desirable way.

25 September 2009

The Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) is nothing short of a revolution. Introduced on 1 November 2007, it will have a profound, long-term impact on Europe’s securities markets. It will see banks operating as exchanges for certain activities, offering alternative execution services that more closely resemble the structure of over-the-counter markets, and will lead to the decentralisation of order execution in an array of venues previously governed by concentration rules.

22 September 2009

The objective of this survey was therefore to produce statistically reliable data on the prices and tariffs for using the services linked to a current bank account in the EU Member States. The data collected on prices needed to be publicly available information, i.e. information available on websites or leaflets from financial institutions, or from their customer service.

07 August 2009

The European Council meeting of June charged the European Commission with responsibility for drafting “by early autumn 2009 at the latest” the proposals to implement a new framework for EU financial supervision, as called for by the de Larosière Committee.

06 August 2009

This is not the first international banking crisis the world has seen. The previous ones occurred without credit default swaps, special investment vehicles, or even credit ratings. If crises keep repeating themselves, it seems reasonable to argue that policy-makers need to carefully consider what they are doing and not just ‘double-up’ by superficially reacting to the specific features of today’s crisis.

31 July 2009

The ECRI Statistical Package on Lending to Households in Europe is a collection of data on lending to households, including consumer credit, housing and other loans, in Europe, covering 38 countries: the 27 EU member states, three EU candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), the EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) as well as four additional key global economies (the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan).

30 July 2009

The ECRI Statistical Package on Consumer Credit in Europe is a collection of data on consumer credit, covering 38 countries: the 27 EU member states, three EU candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), the EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) as well as four additional key global economies (the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan). Its purpose is to provide reliable statistical information allowing users to make meaningful comparisons between these countries.

27 July 2009

Consumer insolvency is a topic that has gained much prominence in the context of the financial crisis on both sides of the Atlantic. The number of bankruptcy filings has soared in recent years, and is not expected to go down in the near future.

16 July 2009

Even though the financial crisis might have started in the US, CEPS Director Daniel Gros finds in a new CEPS Policy Brief that even more combustible material had accumulated in Europe, and that therefore that it likely that the cost will be higher here and the recovery slower than on the other side of the Atlantic. This conclusion is based on a careful analysis of two indicators of looming financial instability: credit expansion (or leverage) and asset price bubbles.

16 July 2009

In assessing the current proposals for financial market regulation in response to the financial crisis, CEPS Chief Executive Karel Lannoo laments that policy-makers and regulators seem intent on further complicating the already complex maze of financial market rules. Rather than merely amending existing rules on the fringes, he calls for fundamental reform of the capital adequacy system.

07 July 2009

When it was originally proposed, the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) was hailed for its potential to contribute significantly to making Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010. All national payments standards were supposed to disappear and be replaced by new SEPA standards, which would allow additional economies of scale and scope. After six years of intensive work on developing SEPA, however, and roughly 18 months before SEPA was due to have been completed (end of 2010), this ECRI Research Report finds that the SEPA process is in a crisis.

26 June 2009

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the foundations of modern and innovative financial systems developed over decades have suffered serious damage. This has triggered massive state interventions and has led authorities to revamp the regulatory structures and frameworks. While many voices have called for a return to more traditional approaches to banking and finance, no one has argued the merits of diversity.

23 June 2009

The global financial crisis has put an end to the cosy environment in which the financial industry had operated up to now. In keeping with their G-20 commitment, the European Commission has published draft rules for hedge funds, which bring all non-harmonised funds under the EU’s regulatory umbrella, largely reproducing the rules of existing directives, and adding some new elements in response to the crisis.

22 June 2009

Following publication of the de Larosière report in February 2009, the EU machinery has finally swung into action and is now delivering concrete proposals for the much-needed new European architecture for financial supervision.

08 June 2009

First published in 1992, CEPS has elected to republish this paper some 17 years later in its entirety, given its continued relevance to the EU’s struggle to reform its system of financial supervision in the wake of the financial crisis. A special Foreword by Daniel Gros explains the foresight of Sydney Key and places her analysis in the context of 2009.

04 June 2009

The financial crisis has sharpened the debate on Europe’s back office architecture. This paper reviews the ECB’s decision to proceed with its Target 2 Securities (T2S) project, which aims to establish a common IT platform for securities settlement, reducing differences between current infrastructures. The apparently solid configuration of the project shakes, however, when we closely examine the impact of this common infrastructure on the competitive landscape.

29 May 2009

Fears of systemic meltdown following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 led to uncoordinated regulatory interventions around the world to ban or restrict short selling, a technique that allows one to profit from falling stock prices. The suspicion that ‘bear raids’ were having a negative impact on stock prices in general and financial stocks in particular motivated these regulatory developments. The ban on short selling reignited a long-standing debate on this controversial technique.

27 May 2009

Now, almost two years into the worst financial crisis in Europe’s recent history, CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo finds that the EU seems to be incapable of drawing the necessary lessons. If Europe is serious about tackling the crisis and wants to be seen as such, he argues that it needs to make proposals for a European system of financial supervisors, not a network. This means empowering a strong centre which can, following the principle of subsidiarity, effectively and unequivocally act on behalf of the European interest and police national supervisory authorities.

07 May 2009

This paper explores three areas in which the experience of the Great Depression might be relevant today: monetary policy, fiscal policy and the systemic stability of the banking system.

09 April 2009

While acknowledging that the G-20 meeting in London achieved remarkable success in laying the foundations for sound global governance, CEPS Chief Executive Karel Lannoo asks in this CEPS Commentary whether the world’s leaders will be able to deliver, given the hugely ambitious agenda they have set for themselves and in light of the fact that they remain a limited group of nations.

03 April 2009

Until the eruption of the credit crisis in August 2007 financial markets were gripped by a ‘flight to risk’. The perception was that risks were very low. This perception was fed by the rating agencies that liberally distributed top ratings to dubious assets. Dulled by this low risk perception, investors and financial institutions accumulated vast amounts of risky assets on their balance sheets. Today the markets have moved to the other extreme and perceive risks everywhere. They are now gripped by a ‘flight to safety’.

02 April 2009

The world needs a watchdog institution for global economic stability. Most agree that the IMF is the only serious candidate, but IMF management and staff need more independence. This column argues that this could be achieved by having separate Executive Board voting procedures for lending and analytic decisions, and some independent members on the Board.

24 March 2009

With the aim of restoring a strong global framework for economic governance, this study proposes new rules of the game – imposed through the Group of 20 and the IMF – for the macroeconomic and exchange rate policies of the main players, including the United States. It also advocates stricter prudential rules for banks, centred around the introduction of a simple leverage ratio calculated with reference to total assets, with no exemptions or risk mitigation.

03 March 2009

This Commentary assesses the report by the high-level group on financial supervision, chaired by former IMF Managing Director and Bank of France Governor Jacques de Larosière. The author, CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo, finds that the group’s recommendations offer a useful first step, but that its proposals need to be clarified and simplified, and their implementation accelerated. In his view, the report should lead to a clear roadmap to be adopted by the EU Council and some choices need to be thought through more carefully, procedures more fully specified and structures elaborated.

02 March 2009

The Payment Services Directive (PSD) was published in late 2007, constituting the legal basis for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The industry initiative launched on 28 January 2008 aims at replacing fragmented national markets for payment services with one integrated system. Although deadlines for both the transposition of the PSD into national law and the full availability for SEPA standards are set, many questions lack clear answers and need to be addressed accordingly.

23 February 2009

During the decade preceding the eruption of the financial crisis in August 2007, rating agencies and market participants, gripped by euphoria, systematically underestimated the risk inherent in a wide range of financial assets. Today the panic that has gripped them leads to an equally distorted view of the risks involved. Private debt is dumped in favour of government debt of just a few countries. How these countries are selected is unclear.