IMF Global Financial Stability Report October ’08

For those of you with the time to browse through 246 pages (gasp!), this heavy report from the IMF offers a tremendous overview of global financial markets up to the beginning of October 2008. It provides an amazing overview of global indicators, and puts the current crisis in full perspective.

My largest takeaway from having read the first chapter (70 pages), is that we are probably close to a bottom in economic terms. The research dissects data in a variety of ways, and offers a number of excellent charts many of which I am posting here as a resource for others in the blogosphere.

Another takeaway is that I have changed my opinion from earlier posts that suspending fair value, (also known as mark-to-market accounting) would be a good idea.  Chapter three researches FV methods over business cycles, and makes a compelling argument for why suspending them would not be worthwhile.   However there is an acknowledgment that some tweaks would be worthwhile.

An excerpt from the conclusion on FV accounting methods is below:

The chapter finds that, despite concerns about volatility and measurement difficulties, FVA is the appropriate direction forward and can provide a measure that best reflects a financial institution’s current financial condition, though various enhancements are needed to allow FVA to reinforce good risk management techniques and improved prudential norms. Nevertheless, the application of FVA makes more transparent the effects of economic volatility on balance sheets that, under certain risk management frameworks, could exacerbate cyclical movements in asset and liability values. Exaggerated profits in good times create the wrong incentives. Conversely, more uncertainty surrounding valuation in downturns may translate into overly tight credit conditions, and negatively affect growth at a time when credit expansion is most needed. This is not to say that alternative accounting frameworks such as historical cost accounting avoid such fluctuations, but rather that FVA recognizes them as they develop. Regardless, accounting frameworks are not meant to address the market-wide or systemic outcomes of their application, as they are applied only to individual institutions. Nevertheless, much of the controversy surrounding FV stems more from the risk management and investment decision rules using FV outcomes, rather than the framework itself. The interaction of FV estimates with other decision rules should be delinked from specific covenants such as sales triggers, margin calls or additional collateral requirements during downturns, or compensation tied to short-term profits during upturns.

You can download the full report from the IMF by clicking on the cover image below:

IMF Global Financial Stability Report October 2008

IMF Global Financial Stability Report October 2008: Financial Stress and Deleveraging - Macrofinancial Implications and Policy

The charts below have been gratuitously clipped from the report.  I hope that these charts may be helpful to further the dialogue.

IMF Box 1.4 Mortgage Securitizations

IMF Box 1.4 Mortgage Securitizations

IMF Box 1.4 U.S. Fixed-Income Market

IMF Box 1.4 U.S. Fixed-Income Market

IMF Box 1.5 Large Hedge Fund Failures

IMF Box 1.5 Large Hedge Fund Failures

IMF Box 1.5 Leverage and Cash Balances of Global Hedge Funds

IMF Box 1.5 Leverage and Cash Balances of Global Hedge Funds

IMF Box 1.5 Typical “Haircut” or Initial Margin

IMF Box 1.5 Typical “Haircut” or Initial Margin

IMF Table 1.1. Estimates of Financial Sector Potential Writedowns

IMF Table 1.1. Estimates of Financial Sector Potential Writedowns

IMF Table 1.2. Estimates of Potential Losses on Loans

IMF Table 1.2. Estimates of Potential Losses on Loans

IMF Table 1.9. Comparison of Financial Sector Loss Estimates, October 2008

IMF Table 1.9. Comparison of Financial Sector Loss Estimates, October 2008

IMF Figure 1.1. Global Financial Stability Map

IMF Figure 1.1. Global Financial Stability Map

IMF Figure 1.2. Heat Map- Developments in Systemic Asset Classes

IMF Figure 1.2. Heat Map- Developments in Systemic Asset Classes

IMF Figure 1.3. Systemic Bank Default Risk

IMF Figure 1.3. Systemic Bank Default Risk

IMF Figure 1.4. Asset Price Volatility and Funding and Market Liquidity

IMF Figure 1.4. Asset Price Volatility and Funding and Market Liquidity

IMF Figure 1.6. U.S. Loan Charge-Off Rates

IMF Figure 1.6. U.S. Loan Charge-Off Rates

IMF Figure 1.7. U.S. Households’ Balance Sheets- Net Worth

IMF Figure 1.7. U.S. Households’ Balance Sheets- Net Worth

IMF Figure 1.8. U.S. Mortgage Delinquencies by Vintage Year

IMF Figure 1.8. U.S. Mortgage Delinquencies by Vintage Year

IMF Figure 1.9. Prices of U.S. Mortgage-Related Securities

IMF Figure 1.9. Prices of U.S. Mortgage-Related Securities

IMF Figure 1.13. Comparison of Financial Crises

IMF Figure 1.13. Comparison of Financial Crises

IMF Figure 1.14. Financial Sector Losses

IMF Figure 1.14. Financial Sector Losses

IMF Figure 1.15. Ratio of Household Debt to Gross Disposable Income

IMF Figure 1.15. Ratio of Household Debt to Gross Disposable Income

IMF Figure 1.23. European Banks’ Cross-Border Liabilities, end-2007

IMF Figure 1.23. European Banks’ Cross-Border Liabilities, end-2007

IMF Figure 1.26. Private Sector Credit Growth

IMF Figure 1.26. Private Sector Credit Growth

IMF Figure 1.28. Market Capitalization and Equity Book Values of Select Financial Institutions

IMF Figure 1.28. Market Capitalization and Equity Book Values of Select Financial Institutions

IMF Figure 1.29. Probability of Default Based on Equity Option Prices

IMF Figure 1.29. Probability of Default Based on Equity Option Prices

IMF Figure 1.31. Total Assets on Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet

IMF Figure 1.31. Total Assets on Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet

IMF Figure 1.32. Potential U.S. Commitments and Mortgage Markets

IMF Figure 1.32. Potential U.S. Commitments and Mortgage Markets

IMF Figure 1.33. Sovereign Credit Default Swap Spreads

IMF Figure 1.33. Sovereign Credit Default Swap Spreads

IMF Figure 1.34. Net Foreign Equity Investment in Emerging Economies

IMF Figure 1.34. Net Foreign Equity Investment in Emerging Economies

IMF Figure 1.35. Emerging Market External and U.S. High-Grade Corporate Spreads

IMF Figure 1.35. Emerging Market External and U.S. High-Grade Corporate Spreads

IMF Figure 1.37. Credit Default Swap Spreads on Selected Emerging Market Banks, January 2007— Early October 2008

IMF Figure 1.37. Credit Default Swap Spreads on Selected Emerging Market Banks, Jan. 2007— Early Oct. 2008

IMF Figure 1.38. Real Policy Rates- Latest Levels and Changes from end-2006

IMF Figure 1.38. Real Policy Rates- Latest Levels and Changes from end-2006

IMF Figure 1.41. Global Financial Stability Map- Monetary and Financial Conditions

IMF Figure 1.41. Global Financial Stability Map- Monetary and Financial Conditions

IMF Figure 1.42. Global Financial Stability Map- Risk Appetite

IMF Figure 1.42. Global Financial Stability Map- Risk Appetite

IMF Figure 1.47. Commodity Futures Prices and Financial Positions

IMF Figure 1.47. Commodity Futures Prices and Financial Positions

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One Response to IMF Global Financial Stability Report October ’08

  1. […] Proposed Changes to the Mark-to-Market Accounting Rule By greenewable Below is the summary of proposed changes by FASB to FASB Statement No. 157, Fair Value Measurements.  This is something that has been widely debated in the blogosphere and is certainly set to have a major impact on the valuations of financial firms if it is passed this coming week on April 2nd.  This proposal is likely part of the tide lifting financial shares recently too.  Some of my earlier comments on mark to market or fair value accounting can be found in earlier posts: Comments on: Study on Mark-to-Market Accounting,  Battleship,  Is capitalism fated to lead to socialism?, IMF Global Financial Stability Report October ‘08 […]

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