Our international guardians
in Mad Money
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With national regulators caught in the midst of change brought on by forces of financial innovation and integration beyond their control, attention shifts to the possibilities of internationally negotiated systems of control. Two very different international institutions have been engaged in financial regulation, namely the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). By the late 1990s, while the BIS was effectively abdicating regulatory authority to the banks themselves, the IMF was increasingly acting as the world's lender of last resort. The IMF also suffers from various limitations on its role as guardian. It is accustomed to dealing with governments, with finance ministry officials who often share professional and ideological mind sets with staff missions and are therefore inclined to cooperate. There is also the concept of deposit insurance as a means of maintaining confidence in the financial system in times of trouble.

Mad Money

With an introduction by Benjamin J. Cohen

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