Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Transnational Lawyer

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

Financial crises around the globe place countries at risk. Not only do less developed countries like Mexico and Argentina tremble from the inadequacies of their banking systems, but large and developed economies such as Japan suffer similar apprehension. As a result, national financial authorities find themselves looking for a type of international financial entity that can coordinate the efforts of these authorities in maintaining safety and soundness in their respective financial and banking sectors. This being the case, financial markets need the assistance of an international institution that can regulate national banking systems and, in return, can avoid any future financial crisis. Many ideas regarding the form and mission of a new international financial architecture already exist. Out of all the suggestions presented to the world financial community, the most appealing is creating a new "World Financial Authority." However, attempts to develop a World Financial Authority proved unsuccessful, and this goal remains unfeasible. Because the world is composed of scores of independent regulatory regimes, it is unrealistic to expect nations to unite behind a singular government or multinational entity. Therefore, this article addresses one of the most difficult questions facing the Twenty-First Century: what is the degree of regulation that should be imposed upon a free enterprise society that will yield the benefits of economic freedom and control? It will be argued that unlike creating a new organization, for which conditions seem unripe at the present or near future, the transformation of current international financial and banking institutions into a World Financial Authority presents a realistic opportunity. The authors believe that the Bank for International Settlements ("BIS") is the proper institution to further consolidate international financial stability.

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