Global Financial Stability Report

The Global Financial Stability Report provides an assessment of the global financial system and markets, and addresses emerging market financing in a global context. It focuses on current market conditions, highlighting systemic issues that could pose a risk to financial stability and sustained market access by emerging market borrowers. The Report draws out the financial ramifications of economic imbalances highlighted by the IMF's World Economic Outlook. It contains, as special features, analytical chapters or essays on structural or systemic issues relevant to international financial stability.

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2022

Global Financial Stability Report, October 2022

October 11, 2022

Description: Financial stability risks have increased amid the highest inflation in decades and the ongoing spillovers from Russia’s war in Ukraine to European and global energy markets. Amid poor market liquidity, there is a risk that a sudden, disorderly tightening in financial conditions may interact with preexisting vulnerabilities. In emerging markets, rising rates, weak fundamentals, and large outflows have pushed up borrowing costs, particularly for frontier economies, with a heightened risk of additional defaults. In China, the property downturn has deepened as sharp declines in home sales have exacerbated pressures on developers, with heightened risks of spillovers to the financial sector.

Global Financial Stability Report, April 2022

April 19, 2022

Description: Financial stability risks have risen as war tests the resilience of the financial system through various channels.

2021

Global Financial Stability Report, October 2021

October 6, 2021

Description: Financial stability risks have been contained so far, reflecting ongoing policy support and a rebound in the global economy earlier this year. Chapter 1 explains that financial conditions have eased further in net in advanced economies but changed little in emerging markets. However, the optimism that propelled markets earlier in the year has faded on growing concerns about the strength of the global recovery, and ongoing supply chain disruptions intensified inflation concerns. Signs of stretched asset valuations in some market segments persist, and pockets of vulnerabilities remain in the nonbank financial sector; recovery is uneven in the corporate sector. Chapter 2 discusses the opportunities and challenges of the crypto ecosystem. Crypto asset providers’ lack of operational or cyber resilience poses risks, and significant data gaps imperil financial integrity. Crypto assets in emerging markets may accelerate dollarization risks. Chapter 3 shows that sustainable funds can support the global transition to a green economy but must be scaled up to have a major impact. It also discusses how a disorderly transition could disrupt the broader investment fund sector in the future.

Global Financial Stability Report, April 2021: Preempting a Legacy of Vulnerabilities

April 6, 2021

Description:

Extraordinary policy measures have eased financial conditions and supported the economy, helping to contain financial stability risks. Chapter 1 warns that there is a pressing need to act to avoid a legacy of vulnerabilities while avoiding a broad tightening of financial conditions. Actions taken during the pandemic may have unintended consequences such as stretched valuations and rising financial vulnerabilities. The recovery is also expected to be asynchronous and divergent between advanced and emerging market economies. Given large external financing needs, several emerging markets face challenges, especially if a persistent rise in US rates brings about a repricing of risk and tighter financial conditions. The corporate sector in many countries is emerging from the pandemic overindebted, with notable differences depending on firm size and sector. Concerns about the credit quality of hard-hit borrowers and profitability are likely to weigh on the risk appetite of banks. Chapter 2 studies leverage in the nonfinancial private sector before and during the COVID-19 crisis, pointing out that policymakers face a trade-off between boosting growth in the short term by facilitating an easing of financial conditions and containing future downside risks. This trade-off may be amplified by the existing high and rapidly building leverage, increasing downside risks to future growth. The appropriate timing for deployment of macroprudential tools should be country-specific, depending on the pace of recovery, vulnerabilities, and policy tools available. Chapter 3 turns to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the commercial real estate sector. While there is little evidence of large price misalignments at the onset of the pandemic, signs of overvaluation have now emerged in some economies. Misalignments in commercial real estate prices, especially if they interact with other vulnerabilities, increase downside risks to future growth due to the possibility of sharp price corrections.

2020

Global Financial Stability Report: Bridge to Recovery

October 13, 2020

Description: Near-term global financial stability risks have been contained as an unprecedented policy response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped avert a financial meltdown and maintain the flow of credit to the economy. For the first time, many emerging market central banks have launched asset purchase programs to support the smooth functioning of financial markets and the overall economy. But the outlook remains highly uncertain, and vulnerabilities are rising, representing potential headwinds to recovery. The report presents an assessment of the real-financial disconnect, as well as forward-looking analysis of nonfinancial firms, banks, and emerging market capital flows. After the outbreak, firms’ cash flows were adversely affected as economic activity declined sharply. More vulnerable firms—those with weaker solvency and liquidity positions and smaller size—experienced greater financial stress than their peers in the early stages of the crisis. As the crisis unfolds, corporate liquidity pressures may morph into insolvencies, especially if the recovery is delayed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more vulnerable than large firms with access to capital markets. Although the global banking system is well capitalized, some banking systems may experience capital shortfalls in an adverse scenario, even with the currently deployed policy measures. The report also assesses the pandemic’s impact on firms’ environmental performance to gauge the extent to which the crisis may result in a reversal of the gains posted in recent years.

Global Financial Stability Report: Markets in the Time of COVID-19

April 14, 2020

Description: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic poses unprecedented health, economic, and financial stability challenges. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the prices of risk assets collapsed and market volatility spiked, while expectations of widespread defaults led to a surge in borrowing costs. Several factors amplified asset price moves: previously overstretched asset valuations, pressures to unwind leveraged trades, dealers’ balance-sheet constraints, and a deterioration in market liquidity. Emerging market economies experienced the sharpest reversal of portfolio flows on record. As a result, financial conditions tightened at an unprecedented speed. Decisive monetary, financial, and fiscal policy actions—aimed at containing the fallout from the pandemic—managed to stabilize investor sentiment in late March–early April, with markets paring back some of their losses.

2019

Global Financial Stability Report, October 2019: Lower for Longer

October 16, 2019

Description: The October 2019 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) identifies the current key vulnerabilities in the global financial system as the rise in corporate debt burdens, increasing holdings of riskier and more illiquid assets by institutional investors, and growing reliance on external borrowing by emerging and frontier market economies. The report proposes that policymakers mitigate these risks through stricter supervisory and macroprudential oversight of firms, strengthened oversight and disclosure for institutional investors, and the implementation of prudent sovereign debt management practices and frameworks for emerging and frontier market economies.

Vulnerabilities in a Maturing Credit Cycle

April 10, 2019

Description: The April 2019 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) finds that despite significant variability over the past two quarters, financial conditions remain accommodative. As a result, financial vulnerabilities have continued to build in the sovereign, corporate, and nonbank financial sectors in several systemically important countries, leading to elevated medium-term risks. The report attempts to provide a comprehensive assessment of these vulnerabilities while focusing specifically on corporate sector debt in advanced economies, the sovereign–financial sector nexus in the euro area, China’s financial imbalances, volatile portfolio flows to emerging markets, and downside risks to the housing market. These vulnerabilities require action by policymakers, including through the clear communication of any changes in their monetary policy outlook, the deployment and expansion of macroprudential tools, the stepping up of measures to repair public and private sector balance sheets, and the strengthening of emerging market resilience to foreign portfolio outflows.

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