Playing with Fire: deepened financial integration and changing vulnerabilities of the Global South
From the early 1990s many emerging and developing economies (EDEs) liberalized their capital accounts, allowing greater freedom for international lenders and investors to enter their markets, as well as for their residents to operate in international financial markets. Despite recurrent crises, liberalization has accelerated in the new millennium. Global financial integration of EDEs has been greatly facilitated by progressively looser US monetary policy, notably policies culminating in crises in the US and Europe and the ultra-easy monetary policies adopted in response. Not only have traditional cross-border financial linkages of EDEs deepened and their external balance sheets expanded rapidly, but also foreign presence in their domestic markets and the presence of their nationals in foreign markets have reached unprecedented proportions. As a result new channels have emerged for the transmission of financial shocks from global boom–bust cycles. Almost all EDEs are now vulnerable irrespective of their balance-of-payments, external debt, net foreign assets, and international reserves positions, although these play an important role in the way such shocks could impinge on them. This is a matter for concern since the multilateral system lacks mechanisms to prevent beggar-thy-neighbour policies in major advanced economies that exert strong impact on global economic and financial conditions or for orderly and equitable resolution of financial crises with international dimensions. This volume provides a comprehensive treatment of global financial linkages of EDEs and the vulnerabilities they entail, based on a rich set of data and information that have not been put together so far in the literature.