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Trends, Effects, and Proposals for Reform
The Evolving Pension System examines the foundations and the future of the private pension system. It provides a broad overview of the underlying assumptions, characteristics, and effects of existing pension policy, as well as alternative views on how public policy toward pensions should evolve in the future. Contributors include Robert Clark (North Carolina State University), Eric Engen (Federal Reserve Board), William G. Gale (Brookings Institution), Theodore Groom (Groom Law Group, Chartered), Daniel Halperin (Harvard), Alicia Munnell (Boston College), Leslie Papke (Michigan State University), Joseph Quinn (Boston College), Sylvester Schieber (Watson Wyatt), John B. Shoven (Stanford), and Jack Vanderhei (Temple University and EBRI). William G. Gale is the Joseph A. Pechman Fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. John B. Shoven is Charles R. Schwab Professor at Stanford University. Mark J. Warshawsky is director of research at the TIAA-CREF Institute.
Lessons from the Past, Preparation for the Future
Throughout the 1990s, numerous financial crises rocked the world financial sector. The Asian bubble burst, for example; Argentina and Brazil suffered currency crises; and the post-Soviet economy bottomed out in Russia. In Financial Crises, a distinguished group of economists and policy analysts examine and draw lessons from attempts to recover from past crises. They also consider some potential hazards facing the world economy in the 21st century and discuss ways to avoid them and minimize the severity of any future downturn. This important new volume emerges from the seventh annual conference on emerging markets finance, cosponsored and organized by the World Bank and the Brookings Institution. In the book, noted experts address the following questions: How effective were post-crisis policies in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and East and Central Asia? Where do international financial markets stand ten years after the worldwide debt crisis? How can the provision of financial services resume vigorously, yet safely? What are the viable policy options for reducing systemic financial vulnerability? What will the next emerging-market financial crisis look like? Will lessons learned from past experiences help to avoid future disasters? How can nations reform their pension systems to deal with retirement challenges in the 21st century?
The rapid spread and far-reaching impact of the global financial crisis have highlighted the need for strengthening financial systems in advanced economies and emerging markets. Emerging markets face particular challenges in developing their nascent financial systems and making them resilient to domestic and external shocks. Financial reforms are critical to these economies as they pursue programs of high and sustainable growth.
In this timely volume Masahiro Kawai, Eswar Prasad, and their contributors offer a systematic overview of recent developments in and the latest thinking about regulatory frameworks in both advanced countries and emerging markets. Their analyses and observations clearly point out the challenges to improving regulation, efficiency of markets, and access to the fi nancial system. Policymakers and financial managers in emerging markets are struggling to learn from the crisis and will need to grapple with some key questions as they restructure and reform their financial markets:
What lessons does the global financial crisis of 200709 offer for the establishment of efficient and flexible regulatory structures?
How can policymakers develop broader financial markets while managing the associated risks?
How or should they make the formal financial system more accessible to more people?
How might they best contend with multinational financial institutions?
This book is an important step in getting a better grasp of these issues and making progress toward solutions that strike a balance between promoting financial market development and efficiency on the one hand, and ensuring financial stability on the other.
The Enron Failure and the State of Corporate Disclosure
A few years ago, Americans held out their systems of corporate governance and financial disclosure as models to be emulated by the rest of the world. But in late 2001 U.S. policymakers and corporate leaders found themselves facing the largest corporate accounting scandals in American history. The spectacular collapses of Enron and Worldcom as well as the discovery of accounting irregularities at other large U.S. companies seemed to call into question the efficacy of the entire system of corporate governance in the United States. In response, Congress quickly enacted a comprehensive package of reform measures in what has come to be known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ followed by making fundamental changes to their listing requirements. The private sector acted as well. Accounting firms watching in horror as one of their largest, Arthur Andersen, collapsed after a criminal conviction for document shredding tightened their auditing procedures. Stock analysts and ratings agencies, hit hard by a series of disclosures about their failings, changed their practices as well. Will these reforms be enough? Are some counterproductive? Are other shortcomings in the disclosure system still in need of correction? These are among the questions that George Benston, Michael Bromwich, Robert E. Litan, and Alfred Wagenhofer address in Following the Money. While the authors agree that the U.S. system of corporate disclosure and governance is in need of change, they are concerned that policymakers may be overreacting in some areas and taking actions in others that may prove to be ineffective or even counterproductive. Using the Enron case as a point of departure, the authors argue that the major problem lies not in the accounting and auditing standards themselves, but in the system of enforcing those standards. Rather than attempting to craft a single set of accounting and reporting standards for all companies throughout the world, the authors advise policymakers to allow competition between the two major sets of standards: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and International Financial Reporting Standards. The authors also believe that the corporate disclosure system needs to be updated to reflect changes in the underlying economy. In particular, they recommend new forms of disclosure for a variety of nonfinancial indicators to better enable investors and analysts to ascertain the source and nature of intangible assets. They also urge policymakers to exploit the advantages of the Internet by encouraging more frequent financial disclosures in a form that will make them more widely accessible and more easily used.
The Near-Death of the Transatlantic Alliance
Relations between the U.S. and Europe have declined in recent years, and today they are worse than at any time since the 1950s. In Friendly Fire, a veteran reporter known for her shrewd observations of political behavior in Europe examines the widening gulf and worsening acrimony between the U.S. and its traditional allies on the European continent. Elizabeth Pond examines a number of disputes chronic trade quarrels, the International Criminal Court, the Kyoto Protocol, Israeli-Palestinian violence, and Iraq and identifies the ways in which they reinforce and exacerbate one another. European governments have accepted a rhetorical responsibility for global (and not just European) security, but the dearth of defense funding in Europe, disagreements over tactics, and the bad American temper toward the Europeans have added to the estrangement.
Hope VI and the New Promise of Public Housing in America's Cities
For decades, the federal government's failure to provide decent and affordable housing to very low-income families has given rise to severely distressed urban neighborhoods that defeat the best hopes of both residents and local officials. Now, however, there is cause for optimism. From Despair to Hope documents the evolution of HOPE VI, a federal program that promotes mixed-income housing integrated with services and amenities to replace the economically and socially isolated public housing complexes of the past. As one of the most ambitious urban development initiatives in the last half century, HOPE VI has transformed the landscape in Atlanta, Baltimore, Louisville, Seattle, and other cities, providing vivid examples of a true federal-urban partnership and offering lessons for policy innovators.
In From Despair to Hope, Henry Cisneros and Lora Engdahl collaborate with public and private sector leaders who were on the scene in the early 1990s when the intolerable conditions in the nation's worst public housing projects and their devastating impact on inhabitants, neighborhoods, and cities called for drastic action. These eyewitnesses from the policymaking, housing development, and architecture fields reveal how a program conceived to address one specific problem revolutionized the entire public housing system and solidified a set of principles that guide urban policy today.
This vibrant, full-color exploration of HOPE VI details the fate of residents, neighborhoods, cities, and public housing systems through personal testimony, interviews, case studies, data analyses, research summaries, photographs, and more. Contributors examine what HOPE VI has accomplished as it brings disadvantaged families into more economically mixed communities. They also turn a critical eye on where the program falls short of its ideals. This important book continues the national conversation on poverty, race, and opportunity as the country moves ahead under a new president.
Highlights from From Despair to Hope
"For far too long, the government's response to the condition of public housing was predictable and uncreative.... However, under HOPE VI, things began to change. The program reflected a new view that cities were centers of opportunity and not just massive shelters for the poor." from the Foreword by Kurt L. Schmoke, Dean of Howard University School of Law and former Mayor of Baltimore "HOPE VI arose during a period of intense urban crisis in the United States that gave rise to the consensus that the extreme poverty in the inner cities and large public housing projects was intolerable. The prescription offered by HOPE VI... reflected the bold notion that public housing needed not merely to provide affordable shelter, but also to generate broader community revival and to alleviate poverty." Bruce Katz
"The benefits of public housing redevelopment when thoughtfully planned and effectively implemented can spill over to help turn around long-neglected neighborhoods, attracting new residents and new investments that strengthen a city's social and fiscal health." Margery Austin Turner
"When public housing residents are integrated into mixed-income communities, those communities can fulfill multiple roles that are crucial to the urban workforce, to the housing mission of cities, and to the metropolitan economy." Henry G. Cisneros
"Mounting evidence on the extraordinary personal, social, and economic costs of polarization by race and income supports continued efforts to strive for... a new national policy for metropolitan development." G. Thomas Kingsley
Contributors: Richard D. Baron (McCormack Baron Salazar), Peter Calthorpe (Calthorpe Associates), Sheila Crowley (National Low-Income Housing Coalition), Mary K. Cunningham (Urban Institute), Richard C. Gentry (San Diego Housing Commission), Renée Lewis Glover (Atlanta Housing Authority), Bruce Katz (Brookings Institution), G. Thomas Kingsley (Urban Institute), Alexander Polikoff (Business and Professional People for the Public Interest), Susan J. Popkin (Urban Institute), Margery Austin Turner (Urban Institute), and Ronald D. Utt (Heritage Foundation). Poverty & Race
Improving Government Performance with Independent Monitoring Organizations
This book is based on a simple concept: no one is in a better position to hold a government accountable than those it governs.
When governments fail to meet the needs of their citizens, the international community often turns to large external organizations such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. These analysts and monitors may have the resources and expertise to analyze and advise on public spending and governance, but where do they go when the time comes to implement new policies? And can they really have a more nuanced understanding of the country's problems than its own citizens? Who is there to watch day and night to hold the government accountable?
From the Ground Up proposes that the international community's efforts to improve public expenditure and budget execution decisions would be more effective if done in collaboration with local independent monitoring organizations. Stephen Kosack, Courtney Tolmie, and Charles Griffin track the work of sixteen independent monitoring organizations from across the developing world, demonstrating how these relatively small groups of local researchers produce both thoughtful analysis and workable solutions. They achieve these results because their vantage point allows them to more effectively discern problems with governance and to communicate with their fellow citizens about the ideals and methods of good governance.
The authors also outline some disadvantages facing independent monitoring organizations, such as insufficient resources, inadequate access to data, and too little influence with high government officials. Collaboration with larger international organizations could help independent monitoring organizations overcome such obstacles, increasing their chances of improving governance from the ground up.
The Future of Domestic Capital Markets in Developing Countries addresses the challenges that countries face as they develop and strengthen capital markets. Based on input from the world's most prominent capital market experts and leading policymakers in developing countries, this volume represents the latest thinking in capital market development. It captures the views of a global gathering of experts, with perspectives from developing and developed countries, from all regions of the world, from the public and private sector.
This volume should be of interest to senior financial sector policymakers from developed and developing countries in securities and exchange commissions, regulators, central banks, ministries of finance, and monetary authorities; private sector executives in stock exchanges, bond markets, venture capital markets, and investment funds; and researchers and academicians with an interest in capital market development in emerging markets. What are the key factors threatening the development and survival of stock exchanges in developing countries? What domestic strategies are needed to protect the future of local markets? Should exchanges consider linkages or alliances? Merging with, or buying up, other exchanges? Demutualization? The volume provides practical guidance on strategies such as nurturing issuers, improving rules and institutions, addressing regulatory challenges, and sequencing reforms. The contributors address a variety of country experiences, and suggest steps that policymakers and practitioners in emerging markets can take to promote an orderly transition toward efficient, well-regulated, and accessible capital markets.
Contributors include Reena Aggarwal (Georgetown University), Alexander S. Berg (World Bank), Alan Cameron (Sydney Futures Exchange), Olivier Fremond (PSACG), Amar Gill (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia), Gerd Hausler (IMF), Jack Glen (International Finance Corporation), Peter Blair Henry (Stanford University Graduate School of Business), Patricia Jackson (Bank of England), Ruben Lee (Oxford Finance Group), Robert Litan (Brookings Institution), Clemente Luis del Valle (Securities and Exchange Commission of Colombia), Sanket Mohapatra (Columbia University), Alberto Musalem (World Bank), Dilip Kumar Ratha (World Bank), Ajit Singh (University of Cambridge), Philip Suttle (DECPG), V. Sundararajan (IMF), Thierry Tressel (IMF), Philip Turner (Bank for International Settlements), and Piero Ugolini (IMF).
Important changes have buffeted the insurance industry over the past decade. The 1999 repeal of key provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act unleashed a wave of conglomeration in financial services, as bank holding companies acquired insurance and securities businesses and, to a much lesser degree, insurance companies acquired securities firms and banks. Rivalry within the sector has intensified: insurance companies have developed products that compete directly with the offerings of banks and securities firms and vice versa. In addition, the industry has become increasingly global.
Against this backdrop, pressure has been building for fundamental changes to the structure of insurance regulation in the United States. Despite several court challenges over the years, insurance continues to be regulated by the states. Many insurance companies view state regulation as an increasing drag on their efficiency and competitiveness and support a federal regulatory system. However, powerful stakeholders, including state officials, state and regional insurance companies, and many insurance agents, oppose federal regulation. As a result, proposals to establish an optional federal charter (OFC) for insurance companies and agents remain mired in fierce debate.
The Future of Insurance Regulation in the United States gathers some of the country's leading experts on financial regulation to assess the case for an enhanced federal role in the insurance sector. They pay particular attention to the merits of an OFC and how it might be designed. They also consider the principles that should guide insurance regulatory policies, regardless of the institutional framework, and examine the implications of financial convergence and the internationalization of insurance markets for an optimal regulatory structure.
The debate over insurance regulation has only grown in complexity and intensity since the financial crisis began in the fall of 2008. This book will both inform and help to shape those critical discussions.
Contributors: John A. Cooke (International Financial Services London), Robert Detlefsen (National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies), Martin F. Grace (Georgia State University), Robert W. Klein (Georgia State University), Robert E. Litan (Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Brookings Institution), Phil O'Connor (PROactive Strategies), Hal S. Scott (Harvard Law School), Harold D. Skipper (Georgia State University), Peter J. Wallison (American Enterprise Institute).
When it came into force in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) joined the economic futures of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, with systematic rules governing trade and investment, dispute resolution, and economic relations. However, economic integration among the three countries extends considerably beyond trade and investment. The NAFTA agreement takes a very narrow view of integration, barely addressing such vital issues as immigration policy and labor markets, the energy sector, environmental protection, and law enforcement. The governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States now must confront the question of whether NAFTA is enough. Do they want to keep their trilateral relationship focused on economic matters or are they interested in integrating more deeply perhaps initiating a process to build a North American Community similar to the European Union? This volume contains thoughtful discussions about the future of North America by knowledgeable experts from each of the three countries. Robert Pastor has written one of the more comprehensive books on the subject, Toward a North American Community (Institute for International Economics, 2001). Andrés Rozental is an ambassador at large for Mexico and president of Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internationacionales, the country's leading foreign policy association in Mexico. Perrin Beatty is a former foreign minister of Canada and currently the president and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. The governments of Canada, the United States, and Mexico face thorny challenges as they decide whether and how to accelerate smooth, and institutionalize the integration process. Pastor, Rozenthal, and Beatty encourage greater dialogue among the three governments and their citizens, as well as more systematic thinking among policymakers and citizens about the promise and challenges of further North American integration. This volume considers the promise and challenges of further North American integration, including: - migration, security cooperation, and cross-border commerce - the establishment of a permanent North American Court on Trade and Investment, to replace the current ad hoc tribunals -the possibility of widening NAFTA to incorporate countries in Central America and the Caribbean -collaboration in dealing with criminal drug trafficking, environmental protection, energy and water management, and transportation, communications and other infrastructure development.