Bank of Canada Review Article

  • November 17, 2011

    The International Monetary System: An Assessment and Avenue for Reform

    The current international monetary system is in need of reform. This article first provides an assessment of the existing system, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses. It notes that the system has not facilitated the symmetric and timely adjustment in the real exchange rate necessary to accommodate the integration of China and other emerging-market economies into the global economy. This lack of adjustment contributed to the global financial crisis and recession and, because it is forestalling the required rotation of global demand, is hindering the global recovery. The article then discusses reform of the system that would see all systemically important countries and currency areas adopt market-based and convertible floating exchange rates supported by appropriate monetary, fiscal and financial sector policy frameworks. It also examines the roles of the G-20 countries and major international financial institutions in promoting and facilitating the system’s transition.
  • November 17, 2011

    Liquidity Provision and Collateral Haircuts in Payments Systems

    Central banks play a pivotal role in well-functioning payments systems by providing liquidity via collateralized lending. This article discusses the role of collateral and haircut policy in central bank lending, as well as the distinguishing features of the central bank’s policy relative to private sector practices. It presents a model that explicitly incorporates the unique role of central banks in the payments system and argues that central banks must consider how their haircut policies affect the relative price and liquidity of assets, the market’s asset allocation, and the likelihood of participants to default. Furthermore, under extraordinary circumstances, there is a rationale for the central bank to temporarily reduce haircuts or broaden the list of eligible collateral to mitigate the shortage of liquidity in the market.
  • November 17, 2011

    Extracting Information from the Business Outlook Survey: A Principal-Component Approach

    This article reviews recent work that uses principal-component analysis to extract information common to indicators from the Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey (BOS). The authors use correlation analysis and an out-of-sample forecasting exercise to assess and compare the information content of the principal component with that of responses to key individual survey questions on growth in real gross domestic product and in real business investment. Results suggest that summarizing the common movements among BOS indicators may provide useful information for forecasting near-term growth in business investment. For growth in real gross domestic product, however, the survey’s balance of opinion on future sales growth appears to be more informative.
  • November 17, 2011

    Modelling the Counterfeiting of Bank Notes: A Literature Review

    The objective of this article is to improve our understanding of counterfeiting and its policy implications by reviewing research in this area. There has been almost no empirical work on counterfeiting because of the limited availability of counterfeiting data and related statistics. The authors therefore focus on theoretical studies that directly model the behaviour of the relevant economic agents. They first establish some stylized facts about counterfeiting to provide a general understanding of the problem. They then briefly review several models of counterfeiting and summarize their relevant insights, focusing on the implications of the findings for the incentive to counterfeit, social welfare and anti-counterfeiting policies. The authors find that the policy implications of these studies support the Bank’s comprehensive anti-counterfeiting strategy.

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