Financial Conditions Have Eased, but Insolvencies Loom Large

By Tobias Adrian and Fabio Natalucci عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский  Amid the human tragedy and economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent surge in risk appetite in financial markets has caught analysts’ attention. After sharp declines in February and March, equity markets have rallied back, in some cases to close to their January levels, while credit spreads have narrowed significantly, even for riskier investments. This has created an apparent disconnect between financial markets and economic prospects. Investors seem to be betting that lasting strong support from central banks will sustain a quick recovery even as economic data point to a deeper-than-expected downturn, as shown in the June 2020 World Economic Outlook Update. Tug of war In the newest Global Financial Stability Update, we analyze the tug of war between the real economy and financial markets and the risks involved. With huge uncertainties about economic outlook and investors highly sensitive to COVID-19 developments, pre-existing financial vulnerabilities are being exposed by the pandemic. Debt levels are rising, and potential credit losses resulting from insolvencies could test bank resilience in some countries. Some emerging market and frontier economies are facing refinancing risks, and lower-rated countries have started to regain access to markets only slowly. Major central … Continue reading Financial Conditions Have Eased, but Insolvencies Loom Large