Prevention of Procyclicality in the Banking Sector
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Publication date: 2014-08-31
GNPJE 2014;272(4):27–54
The paper discusses and evaluates proposals from various economists and politicians on how to reduce procyclicality—or behaviors positively correlated with the overall state of the economy—in the banking sector. The author juxtaposes these proposals with specific reform measures, both those that have already been implemented and those planned in the future. Małecki defines procyclicality as “such operations of banking sector entities that contribute to more intense fluctuations in the business cycle.” The author reviews arguments that either support or counter the proposition that the banking sector is procyclical. He then looks at these arguments in the context of reforms that have already been implemented or are expected to take effect in the future. The key conclusion that can be drawn from the analysis is that there is no single miracle remedy for the problems arising from the procyclicality of the banking sector, Małecki says. An optimal measure that could help significantly reduce the procyclicality effect is a combination of various measures involving structural reforms as well as changes in banking regulation and in how stabilization policy is pursued, the author adds. Structural and regulatory reforms carried out in the banking sector in recent years have generally followed the path recommended by many economists, according to Małecki. The same goes for changes in how countercyclical macroeconomic policy has been pursued, the author says. However, these changes have not been radical enough and leave a lot to be desired in terms of an optimal mix of reforms designed to prevent procyclicality in the banking sector, the author concludes. Thus, it is hardly possible to expect that procyclicality will be substantially limited any time in the foreseeable future, Małecki says.