Regional Finance (2)

Regional FinanceResponsible to assist the Division Controller in driving the Controllership function for the CBC organization. Indeed, FLAR provides a direct testimony to the potential of (sub)regional arrangements to provide greater ownership to those members who would otherwise struggle to be heard in the global, 188-member IMF. It is exactly this idea of enhanced regional ownership that prompted the ASEAN + 3 countries to establish the Chiang Mai Initiative in May 2000. Such efforts comprise the Asian Bond Markets Initiative and the Asian Bond Fund programs to develop local currency-denominated bond markets, including the launch of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility, which is intended to promote the issuance of corporate bonds within the region.

Along similar lines, the establishment of an Asian Financial Stability Dialogue has been proposed, as well as an Asian currency basket index to gauge the individual movements of currencies in the region relative to a regional average. As the Chiang Mai Initiative illustrates, the membership of regional financial arrangements is heterogeneous in terms of the size of members. But even earlier, she worked for the Republican Party of Florida under finance consultant Ann Herberger, a veteran Bush family fund-raiser.

While their size makes such countries unlikely borrowers, their quota proportion highlights an important function of regional financial arrangements as a device to manage regional spillovers and the impact of problems from outside the region. Disruptions to intraregional trade and investment flows emanating from problems in smaller economies can be managed through a regional arrangement to preserve the overall stability of the region. Indeed, such intraregional externalities can be managed more efficiently by a sovereign financial intermediary with regional scope.Regional Finance

For instance, FLAR has a higher rating than any of its individual members, enabling the institution to borrow from financial markets at lower costs and to redirect such resources toward regional priorities. However, reflecting a typical feature of regional financial arrangements, the Chiang Mai Initiative has only limited capacity to formulate and enforce policy conditionality associated with crisis lending and, thus, is designed to accompany an IMF program. This challenge is symptomatic of regional financial arrangements in general and even of the IMF itself.

Most likely, any further weakening of the IMF link will depend on the concurrent strengthening of the economic surveillance capabilities supported by the new unit, the ASEAN + 3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). When a small-scale crisis occurs in one or two small countries, a regional financial arrangement tends to be better positioned to provide crisis lending, without involving the IMF.

Regional Finance