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IMF Chief Economist Warns of Risks to Global Growth from Banks in Precarious Situation

Date Published:
Author: CML News


Increasing interest rates have left banks in a more vulnerable position, presenting a risk to global growth.



  • IMF's chief economist, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, expresses concern over the banking sector's impact on growth in 2023, particularly in the US but potentially in other countries as well.
  • Central bank interest rate hikes have increased funding costs for banks, while losses in assets such as long-term bonds have also left them in a more precarious situation.
  • While banks have healthy cushions, this situation may lead them to be more prudent and cut down lending somewhat.
  • IMF predicts that funding conditions for banks could tighten further, squeezing lending, and bringing the forecast of 2.8% global growth in 2023 down to 2.5%.
  • More adverse scenarios include massive capital flows from the rest of the world, a loss of confidence, dollar appreciation, and increasing risk premia, leading to the world economy growing at about 1% for this year. However, the likelihood of this scenario is comparatively low.
  • The IMF has released its latest global growth report, which contains its weakest medium-term growth expectations in more than 30 years.
  • Financial stability has been in the spotlight recently due to several US banks' collapse, Credit Suisse's swift sale in Europe, and turmoil in the UK bond market.
  • Gourinchas believes the debate around central bank rate hikes has shifted from growth versus inflation to financial stability versus inflation.
  • Central banks and financial authorities have the tools to address pockets of instability, such as US regulators guaranteeing deposits for Silicon Valley Bank customers and Bank of England gilt purchases.
  • Gourinchas recommends that monetary policy stay focused on bringing inflation down.

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