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The evolution of the international financial system

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Niveau: Supérieur, Doctorat, Bac+8
1May 2002 Jacques de Larosière THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM Having participated over the last thirty years or so in the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, I thought it might be interesting, from a historical perspective, to roughly sketch the main themes of those meetings as they have evolved over the last decades. As I recall, in the sixties and seventies, one used to stress : q the dangers of inflation, q together with the need to reduce fiscal deficits. Then, in the eighties, as one had paid little attention to the recommendations on budgetary discipline, the emphasis shifted to the dangers of excessive public debt (domestic and external). Today, the three dominant themes are : q the excesses of private sector indebtedness, q the need to rehabilitate and strengthen the banking systems notably in emerging countries, q the importance of preventing and eventually dealing with financial crises in a more effective way. Thus, there has been a shift from the combined concern : “Public budgets/Inflation” to a more systemic preoccupation : “How to avoid the excesses of indebtedness of the private sector and to improve on the functioning of financial institutions ?” In a way, the themes of these annual meetings have become both privatized and globalized. This is because the world has, in fact, profoundly changed over that period.

  • has deeply

  • public expenses

  • excessive public

  • thus been

  • international monetary

  • rate policies

  • private sector

  • countries has

  • financial system


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Language English
May 2002Jacques de LarosièreTHE EVOLUTION OFTHE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEMHaving participated over the last thirty years or so in the annual meetings of theInternational Monetary Fund and the World Bank, I thought it might beinteresting, from a historical perspective, to roughly sketch the main themes ofthose meetings as they have evolved over the last decades.As I recall, in the sixties and seventies, one used to stress :q the dangers of inflation,q together with the need to reduce fiscal deficits.Then, in the eighties, as one had paid little attention to the recommendations onbudgetary discipline, the emphasis shifted to the dangers of excessive publicdebt (domestic and external).Today, the three dominant themes are :q the excesses of private sector indebtedness,q the need to rehabilitate and strengthen the banking systems notably inemerging countries,q the importance of preventing and eventually dealing with financial crises in amore effective way.Thus, there has been a shift from the combined concern : “Publicbudgets/Inflation” to a more systemic preoccupation : “How to avoid theexcesses of indebtedness of the private sector and to improve on the functioningof financial institutions ?”In a way, the themes of these annual meetings have become both privatized andglobalized. This is because the world has, in fact, profoundly changed over thatperiod.I shall try to briefly outline some of the main traits of this evolution and finallysuggest some thoughts for the future.1