European monetary system and european currency

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For the Eurosystem, natural reference models are provided by the central banks of countries that apply the separation approach, for example: Germany before the euro; the United Kingdom after the creation of the Financial Services Authority; or Japan. In all these cases the central bank has a well-developed expertise in the micro and macro-prudential field; each distinctively plays a role in the macro-prudential field by addressing threats to the stability of the banking system and analysing the soundness of the structural features of the system. For their own purposes, these central banks also have precise and comprehensive information about the banks in their respective country. This is obtained either from performing practical supervisory duties, as in the case of the Bank of Japan or the Bundesbank; or from the national supervisory authority; or through direct contacts with the banking industry, as in the case of the Bank of England.

The Banking Supervision Committee is in a good position to co-operate with the Eurosystem in the collection of information. Indeed, the so-called BCCI Directive has removed the legal obstacles to the transmission of confidential information from competent supervisory authorities to "central banks and other bodies with a similar function in their capacity as monetary authorities". This includes national central banks and the ECB. Of course, the provision of supervisory information is voluntary and its development will have to be based on an agreed view of the central banking requirements the Eurosystem will have in this field.


21. In normal circumstances central banking and prudential supervision have an arm's length distance between them. In crisis situations, however, they need to act closely together, often in co-operation with other authorities as well. Charles Goodhart and Dirk Schoenmaker have made here at the London School of Economics a valuable contribution to analysing the handling of major banking problems in the history of industrial countries. One of their conclusions is that, in most instances, central banks have indeed been involved. Banking problems are so close to monetary stability, payment system integrity and liquidity management that this finding hardly comes as a surprise. The advent of the euro will not, by itself, change this state of affairs.

22. When discussing crisis management, it should not be forgotten that, while central banks have a direct and unique role to play when the creation of central bank money is involved, this represents just one category of emergency action. Another category refers to the injection - by politically liable Finance Ministries - of taxpayers' money into ailing or insolvent credit institutions. There is also a third, market-based, category, consisting of the injection of private money by banks or other market participants. These three typologies of emergency action all require the involvement of policy-makers, but they must not be mixed up when evaluating the existing arrangements. Therefore, before discussing the much debated question of the lender-of-last-resort, let me briefly comment on the two, probably less controversial cases where central bankers are not the providers of extra funds.

23. First, the "private money solution". This market-based approach is clearly the preferable option, not just to save public funds and avoid imbalances in public finances, but also to reduce the moral hazard problem generated by public assistance to ailing institutions. Indeed, policy-makers are increasingly aware that the expectations of a helping hand can increase financial institutions' risk appetite in the first place. However, even when a market-based solution is possible, on the grounds of private interest, private parties may not be able to reach a solution for lack of information or co-ordination. Public authorities have therefore an active role to play for the market solution to materialise. The recent rescue package co-ordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to prevent the LTCM hedge fund from collapsing is a good example of public intervention being used to achieve a private solution.

Acting as a "midwife" in brokering a private sector deal is not the only example of managing crises without injecting public funds. Banking supervisors have at their disposal a number of tools to intervene at the national level to limit losses and prevent insolvency when a bank faces difficulties. These tools include special audits, business restrictions and various reorganisation measures.

In the euro area, national supervisors and central banks will continue to be the key actors in the pursuit of market-based solutions to crises. The Eurosystem, or the Banking Supervision Committee, would become naturally involved whenever the relevance of the crisis required it.

Реферат опубликован: 12/08/2008