May 17, 2001 This article examines the efforts of the major advanced countries to strengthen the international financial system in order to avoid financial crises such as those that occurred in emerging-market economies in the 1990s. These efforts have focused on crisis prevention and crisis management. The prevention of such crises has necessitated the formation of new international groups that include emerging markets in their membership. Measures have also been taken to reduce the vulnerability of countries to such crises. These measures have centered on the need for appropriate macroeconomic policies, including the need for sustainable exchange rate regimes, sound domestic financial systems, and prudent risk management. In the area of crisis management, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been given access to additional resources for lending to countries that experience financial crises. The IMF has also established new lending facilities for use in such circumstances. It has also been agreed that the private sector will need to play a greater role in the management of such crises in the future.
May 16, 2001 Systemically important payments systems are systems that, because of the size or the nature of the payments they process, could trigger or transmit serious shocks across domestic or international financial systems if they were insufficiently protected against risk. This article describes the overall framework of core principles developed for the design, operation, and oversight of such payments systems. The article reviews the role of the task force established to develop the core principles and examines the core principles themselves. It also examines the role of central banks in overseeing major payments systems and in applying the core principles to them. The focus is on the Bank of Canada's oversight responsibilities under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act and on Canada's systemically important payments system—the LVTS.
May 15, 2001 This article by the Bank's Web master details the development of the Bank's Web site and highlights some of its special features. It includes a description of dataBANK, a custom-built interface to the Bank's economic databases that gives visitors access to 220 data series. It also provides a mini tour of monetary policy material "on site," as well as a taste of things to come. Above all, this article invites you to come and visit our site.