The April 2018 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) finds that short-term risks to financial stability have increased somewhat since the previous GFSR. Medium-term risks are still elevated as financial vulnerabilities, which have built up during the years of accommodative policies, could mean a bumpy road ahead and put growth at risk.
Higher inflation may lead central banks to respond more aggressively than currently expected, which could lead to a sharp tightening of financial conditions. Valuations of risky assets are still stretched, and liquidity mismatches, leverage, and other factors could amplify asset price moves and their impact on the financial system. Emerging markets have generally improving fundamentals, but could be vulnerable to sudden tightening of global financial conditions.
Banks have strengthened their balance sheets since the crisis, but parts of the system face a structural US dollar liquidity mismatch that could be a vulnerability. Crypto assets have features that may improve market efficiency, but they could also pose risks if used with leverage or without appropriate safeguards. Policymakers and investors must remain attuned to the risks of rising interest rates and higher market volatility. Central banks should continue to normalize policy gradually and communicate clearly, while policymakers should address vulnerabilities by deploying and developing macroprudential tools.
This GFSR also examines the short- and medium-term implications for downside risks to growth and financial stability of the riskiness of corporate credit allocation. It documents the cyclical nature of the riskiness of corporate credit allocation at the global and country levels and its sensitivity to financial conditions, lending standards, and policy and institutional settings.