The Evolution of the Financial Stability Mandate: From Its Origins to the Present Day

Gianni Toniolo, Eugene N. White

NBER Working Paper No. 20844
Issued in January 2015
NBER Program(s):   DAE

We investigate the origins and growth of the Financial Stability Mandate (FSM) to examine why bank supervisors, inside and outside of central banks succeeded or failed to meet their FSM. Three issues inform this study: (1) what drives changes in the FSM, (2) whether supervision should be conducted within the central bank or in independent agencies and (3) whether supervision should be rules- or discretion/principles-based. As histories of bank supervision are few, we focus on the history of six countries where there is sufficient information, three in Europe (England, France, and Italy) and three in the New World (U.S., Canada, and Colombia) to highlight the essential developments in the FSM. While there was a common evolutionary path, the development of FSM in each individual country was determined by how quickly each adapted to changes in the technology of the means of payment and their political economy, including their disposition towards competitive markets and openness to the world economy.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20844

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