For those interested in how regulatory prudential policy interacts with monetary policy around the world, you could do worse than go to a new paper produced by the Monetary and Economic Department of the BIS.

Introductory paragraphs:

It has long been recognised that that there is a strong complementarity between monetary and prudential policies. A sound financial system is a prerequisite for an effective monetary policy; just as a sound monetary environment is a prerequisite for an effective prudential policy. A weak financial system undermines the efficacy of monetary policy measures and can overburden the monetary authorities; a disorderly monetary environment can easily trigger financial instability and render void the efforts of prudential authorities. Economic history attests to this, as illustrated by the anatomy and consequences of the financial crises that have affected the industrialised and developing world, going back to previous centuries.
So much is agreed. What is more contentious is the view that some fundamental changes in the economic environment over the last quarter of a century may actually have tightened the interdependence between monetary and prudential policies, potentially calling for significant refinements in policy frameworks. In some research at the BIS in recent years we have been exploring this possibility in some detail.

I, personally would disagree with what is “agreed” above – to me, the contrast between “weak” and “sound” is a false one – a “sound” prudential policy can also be a “weak” one, such as using a free banking paradigm and allowing competitive non-state regulators. The “agreement” here is more likely to be amongst regulators and others in the regulatory industry.

That said, within the confines of the current system this is a very useful paper, even if it needs a little bit more proof-reading*. The authors’ access to data and people looks very good and the conclusions they have drawn out of the data and their references look useful.

The real “meat” here, though, is in the tables starting on page 20 – the analysis of the response of regulatory authorities to various financial events over the last 10 to 15 years. The last column in the table could be fuel for weeks of blog posts and discussion. The annex is also useful, being a “first pass” at assessing the impact of the measures taken. Again, for those interested in the area, this stuff is highly contentious, but this analytical framework is a useful one – comparing those countries with took both prudential and monetary approaches to tackling what was viewed as an imbalance to those which only took a prudential measures and looking at the results.

I am not strong enough in statistics to fully evaluate the results, but the methodology looks sound. If you are interested give it a look – and if your stats knowledge is better than mine feel free to give some feedback.

*Last time I checked it was the United States that had an S&L crisis, not the “Unt

ied States”.