Kevin P. Gallagher, Stephany Griffith-Jones, and José Antonio Ocampo
This month the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can make history. The IMF is set to officially change its view on the regulation of cross-border finance. Preliminary work released by the IMF exhibits diligent research and deep soul searching, but falls short of being a comprehensive view on how and when to regulate capital flows. There is still time for the IMF to further sharpen its view.
In recent decades cross-border capital flows have increased massively; international asset positions now outstrip global economic output. Direct investment is essential for growth but some forms of international financial flows (such as short-term debt, carry trade, and related derivatives) have proven to be usually de-stabilizing. Even long-term capital flows are highly, even increasingly pro-cyclical, as IMF research has shown.