The Development of Financial Markets in Poland
CASE-CEU Working Paper No. 33
32 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2005
Date Written: 1999
This project analyzing the development of Polish financial markets sponsored by the USAID grant was aimed at examining selected problems of the banking system and financial markets in Poland. The main criterion for selection of these problems was their potential usefulness for policy-makers at the present stage of the economic transformation. The studies within the project address the issues that require special attention of policy-makers in their efforts to design future stages of the economic transformation and to formulate a program of effective preparations for the EU accession. The topics examined include: the advancement of risk management in the banking system, the economic and legal aspects of capital account liberalization,contagion effects of world financial crises, and sensitivity of financial markets to exchange rate policies. The studies find visible improvements in the methodology of risk management in the banking system in Poland and in the institutional framework of financial markets. It is further suggested that a larger participation of foreign, more experienced banks would improve efficiency of Poland's financial institutions. It remains debatable whether the banks ought to evolve in the directions of universal or specialized institutions. The financial system is prone to contagion effects of external financial crises as documented by the impact of the Asian and the Russian crisis episodes. Several measures aimed at developing an effective cushion against potential contagion effects of financial crisis are proposed. They include: an effective system of bank monitoring and supervision, a lower reliance on debt in relation to equity, a low (less than a multiple of three) ratio of M2 money to foreign exchange reserves, a higher degree of transparency of financial institutions, more transparent fiscal and monetary policies, and a significant increase in national savings. The advancement of capital account liberalization shall not be restrained by taxes on foreign exchange transactions or by similar measures aimed at containing capital flows. Capital controls could be devastating to still very fragile and volatile Polish financial markets.
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