November 16, 2000 Credit derivatives are a useful tool for lenders who want to reduce their exposure to a particular borrower but are unwilling to sell their claims on that borrower. Without actually transferring ownership of the underlying assets, these contracts transfer risk from one counterparty to another. Commercial banks are the major participants in this growing market, using these transactions to diversify their portfolios of loans and other risky assets. The authors examine the size and workings of this relatively new market and discuss the potential of these transactions for distorting existing incentives for risk management and risk monitoring.
November 15, 2000 This article first outlines the activities of the Bank's regional offices and looks at how regional economic analysis fits into the Bank's decision-making process. The changing role of the regional offices in communications and in information gathering is examined, focusing on the quarterly surveys of industries and associations. The second section reviews, from a regional perspective, economic developments since the Asian crisis and future prospects.
November 14, 2000 This article summarizes the proceedings of a conference hosted by the Bank of Canada in November 1999. Three major themes emerged at the conference. The first concerned uncertainty about the transmission mechanism by which monetary policy affects output and inflation. The second concerned the potential usefulness of monetary aggregates in guiding the economy along a stable non-inflationary growth path. The third was the recent developments in dynamic monetary general-equilibrium models. The work presented suggests that a wide range of models is useful for understanding the various paths by which monetary policy actions might influence the economy.
November 13, 2000 On 8 and 9 June 2000, the Bank held a seminar to examine some key issues affecting the upcoming decision on Canada's inflation-control target for the period after 2001. The main issues covered at the seminar were the extent of downward nominal-wage rigidity and its implications for employment as well as the relative merits of price-level targeting versus inflation targeting. Another critical question that was discussed was how to balance the evidence on all the relevant issues in order to develop an overall view on the appropriate long-run target. The author gives a brief overview of the seminar followed by detailed summaries of individual papers.