Dollar Strength and its Implications for Emerging Market Capital Flows – A Macro-Financial Perspective

Predominance of the US dollar (USD) funding market, notably post Great Financial Crisis (GFC), has reinforced the macro financial linkages between global financial conditions and capital flows to emerging markets (EM).      A stronger dollar is linked to tighter global financial conditions and higher tail risk for EM capital flow withdrawal – the financial risk […]

Stablecoins, Market Integration and Contagion

Stablecoins are a type of digital asset that purports to maintain a stable value by referencing physical, financial or virtual assets (FSB (2020)). They can be further differentiated into currency-based, financial instrument-based, commodity-based and crypto asset-based stablecoins. There are also algorithmic stablecoins that aim to maintain a stable value via protocols that provide for the […]

The Rise of Central Bank Digital Currencies in the Caribbean

Despite the relatively widespread adoption of mobile and internet technology in the Caribbean, retail payments[i] are characterised by “high costs and insufficient access for large swathes of the region’s population (BIS (2020)).” The lack of access to a regular bank account or to other services of financial institutions through mobile devices adversely impacts people from […]

Central Bank Digital Currencies and Financial Inclusion

Despite the fact that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are frequently called ‘a solution in search of a problem’, some 86 per cent of central banks worldwide are actively researching the potential for a CBDC. Their design, implementation and adoption will be strongly influenced by country specific objectives and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. One prominent objective for a CBDC is financial inclusion, i.e., facilitating access to financial services for the world’s 1.7 billion under- or unbanked. The implicit assumption is that a CBDC and its associated technology provides better access to financial services than current systems. But this is putting the CBDC cart before the horse: a CBDC can at best be part of the solution, but it is unlikely to be the only solution. For a CBDC to increase financial inclusion, it must address the causes of exclusion, and any CBDC initiative would need to be embedded in a much wider set of reforms undertaken by the government in co-operation with the private sector. A CBDC will enhance inclusion only if this dimension features prominently in its design from the outset. There are more straightforward and targeted ways to support access to financial services than to launch a CBDC.

To Bail-In or not To Bail-In: A Question for Asian Financial Policymakers

The Great Financial Crisis (GFC), which began in 2007 and whose effects persisted for a decade, spurred a cavalcade of major worldwide regulatory, supervisory, and resolution reforms for the banking sector and the broader financial sector.  In particular, the massive costs incurred by resolution and deposit insurance authorities (and ultimately, taxpayers) to clean up failed […]

Reality Bites: Bitcoin’s Recent Successes and Setbacks

The month of June 2021 was an extremely eventful month for the cryptocurrency universe, with one positive development (from the standpoint of the industry) helping to offset two negative interventions from authorities, one in May and one in June.[1]  The positive development took place on 9 June, when the legislature of El Salvador, at the […]

Bitcoin Accepted Here – Should Other Emerging and Developing Countries Follow El Salvador and Make Bitcoin Legal Tender?

Central banks are increasingly taking actions that may cause harm to the economic stability of El Salvador.  In order to mitigate the negative impact from central banks, it becomes necessary to authorise the circulation of a digital currency with the supply that cannot be controlled by any central bank. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele On […]

Towards a Better Evaluation of Our Training Courses

One of the main activities of The SEACEN Centre is capacity building, so understanding the effectiveness of our training courses is of vital importance. We want to know what works and what does not and how we can improve our training material and teaching modalities to best serve the needs of our member central banks. […]

What about “Terms and Conditions”? Going Back to the Code of Hammurabi

What matters is not so much the money supply or the T-bill interest rate, but the availability of credit, and the terms at which credit is made available…. An increase in credit availability may not lead to more spending on produced goods, but increased prices for land or other fixed assets; it can go to […]

Buy Now, Cry Later? A Look Into a New Phenomenon in Digital Payments and E-Commerce

Over the last few years, the growth of ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) services has been exceptional. This niche product, finding itself conveniently at the intersection of the burgeoning digital payments and e-commerce spheres, and appealing to a new generation of spenders more comfortable with technology and less concerned about privacy than their predecessors, has […]