Enrico Cotta Ramusino

The International Financial System from Crisis to Reform

The international financial system is a powerful infrastructure which, through its functioning, makes it possible to bridge the gap between surplus and deficit units at the international level. The system, in the course of the two decades preceding the crisis, has become much more “international” and its evolution has been driven by major international banks that have grown in size, become more active abroad and more complex in terms of business mix. The governance of this system lagged far behind; it has been held by national authorities, with a poor degree of coordination at the international level. Difference in regulation and different approaches in supervision and crisis management have determined “governance gaps” that the crisis has clearly highlightened. In the course of the crisis a new approach has been developed. First of all, the principle that the governance of an “international financial system” should be “international” has been accepted by all major countries. The new set of rules governing the international financial system has therefore been designed under the guidance of international bodies. Secondly, new rules have been developed trying to cover preceding weakness in any field of financial activity (regulation of banks, derivatives markets, rating agencies, hedge funds...).The process is ongoing and its implementation is made much more difficult by the economic and financial conditions in major Western economies.