In the wake of the Great Recession, a massive monetary policy stimulus was provided in the main OECD economies. It helped to stabilise financial markets and avoid deflation. Nonetheless, GDP growth has been sluggish and in some countries lower than expected given the measures taken, and estimated economic slack remains large.
In the run-up to the financial crisis, indebtedness of households and non-financial businesses rose to historically high levels in many OECD countries; gross debt of financial companies rose dramatically relative to GDP. Much of the debt accumulation appears to have been based on excessive risk-taking and exceptional macro-economic conditions and therefore not sustainable.
Sovereign index-linked bond issuance has grown significantly since the early 1980s and index-linked bonds have become a widely accepted part of the set of instruments that sovereign debt managers use for funding purposes. This paper sets out a methodology for assessing their cost effectiveness relative to other financing options, using UK examples for illustration.
At a time when many governments are looking to encourage private investment in infrastructure to bridge the infrastructure financing gap, this paper compares the experience of pension funds in Canada and Australia, looking at infrastructure policies, the pension system, investment strategies, asset allocation and governance of pension funds.
Italy’s policy of fiscal consolidation and growth-friendly structural reforms has substantially improved its economic prospects, but the adverse sentiment that the country has faced in the sovereign bond market over the past years has deep roots.
Slovenia is facing the legacy of a boom-bust cycle that has been compounded by weak corporate governance of state-owned banks. The levels of non-performing loans and capital adequacy ratios compare poorly in international perspective and may deteriorate further, which could require significant bank recapitalisation.
This conference in Moscow explored strategies for developing financial literacy and capability and building effective consumer protection systems.
Co-organised by the G20 Russian Presidency and the OECD, this roundtable focused on policy measures to address constraints in long-term investment. It was organised back-to-back with the 2013 OECD Forum and the OECD-Euromoney Infrastructure Summit.
English, PDF, 288kb
The crisis has shown that there is no such thing as an optimal banking structure or model. The Liikanen report highlighted excessive risk taking and excessive reliance on short-term funding not matched with adequate capital protection. The French reform of the banking sector builds on this insight as well as the agreement reached by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the European CRD 4 to foster financial stability.
English, PDF, 587kb
The paper argues that interest rates are at extremely low levels to support banks, and the search for yield has pushed the liquidity driven speculative bubble from real estate, derivatives and structured products markets into the corporate debt market. Equities have rallied strongly too. This asset cycle is certainly helping banks reduce hidden losses on illiquid securities and could also help reduce the cost of equity.