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Last fall, CGD and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched a report by the joint Sound Banks for Healthy Economies working group. We round up highlights from two of those discussions here, organized by common themes that ran through the events.
With a surging pandemic, income losses, and a deepening recession, Latin America and the Caribbean is facing a health and economic crisis that will test its financial systems like few events in modern times. The blow, however, can be softened. Banks as well as governments and central banks can play a crucial role, providing financing to lessen the impact on families and firms and to speed the recovery.
In a surprise move Tuesday, the US Treasury announced its intention to nominate Mauricio Claver-Carone to the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a role traditionally held by a citizen of a borrowing member country from the region.
On October 10, CGD, in collaboration with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), held a workshop in Mexico City to discuss CGD’s innovative tool that serves to diagnose the crucial impediments to digital financial inclusion in specific country contexts. There, we shared a draft of CGD’s forthcoming paper: A Decision Tree for Improving Financial Inclusion.
Despite a broad recognition that increased access to financial services can bring significant benefits to the poor, catalyzing economic development, financial inclusion in emerging markets and developing economies continues to lag far behind expectations.
As we start out 2019, a growing consensus has been forming among experts and market participants: the increased volatility in international capital markets and rising trade tensions of 2018 will not abate in 2019, and in fact may have adverse spillover effects on economic growth and stability of emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). How will this challenging international environment shape prospects for Latin America?
Responding to the latest assessment of Mexico’s implementation of the Basel III recommendations, the Mexican authorities argued that regulations for countries hosting foreign banks’ subsidiaries and for the parent countries of the subsidiaries should be aligned “in order to prevent distortions due to the asymmetric treatment of similar risk exposures by home and host jurisdictions,” which could result in an unlevel playing field between foreign subsidiaries and domestic banks.
Just as Basel III, among other factors, played a role in the decline in the volume of cross-border lending from advanced economies to EMDEs, it created incentives for a shift in the composition of these flows. Banks’ exposures to certain business lines have been affected, including those that are crucial for development like trade finance and infrastructure finance (the latter will be the subject of a future blog).