And the transparency and smooth functioning of markets need to be propped up by adequate regulations and supervision. For, markets, by themselves, cannot protect themselves against their inherent weaknesses and the public good needs, sometimes, the work of a visible hand.
What is the transmission mechanism that has been at work so intensely? The media is now full of condemnations of greed; for many this is the quintessential source of this financial crisis. But is it only greed that should be blamed for this mess?
What about the flaws of the originate-and-distribute model, which decouples loans from assets, has spread risk and facilitated the emergence of systemic risk. What about skewed pay schemes in the financial industry that have stimulated reckless risk-taking at the expense of prudence not to mention the ethical dimension these schemes carry? What about the conflicts of interest that plague the financial system? What about banks engaging in casino-type transactions on a massive scale?
These questions highlight a thesis: the root cause of this crisis is an inadequately and under-regulated financial system. That act triggered a further wave of deregulation in the financial industry that, inter alia, brought to the market a plethora of fancy products whose risks were poorly understood. Mortgages are not toxic per se; badly constructed securities based on them are toxic. The packaging and repackaging of financial products are toxic, making their valuations increasingly unclear and reducing their tradability.
Reward schemes that shape the decisions of managers and agents in markets and that make their behaviour irresponsible, when judged from a systemic perspective — that is toxic. Misleading quantitative models are toxic. Not to address these and other problems would be totally wrong. The tripwire for this financial crisis may have been in the housing industry, but housing is not the structural cause of the crisis. What this crisis should make plain to everyone is that not all financial innovation is benign.
It is therefore baffling to hear the argument that fresh regulation is bad because it would stifle financial innovation. Fresh regulation is necessary because there has been a lack of proper regulation and supervision. Why is it that we fail to learn from previous crises? A famous book on financial crises by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Charles Kindleberger traces the same sequence of mindsets and behavioural patterns.
I accept this explanation, but not without qualification. A market economy involves cyclical movements and ups and downs. The entrepreneurial spirit lifts the economy, but, together with the herd instinct, it can also bring it down, by overshooting.
This is indisputable, and a reflection on how free markets function. But just as modern economies need public policies, so they need regulations. A lax monetary policy can lead to higher inflation and, ultimately, to a recession, but cannot, by itself, cause the meltdown of a financial system. Regulators and supervisors are supposed to think about the good of economy and of society, rather than to pursue specific interests.
And they are supposed to learn. They may espouse ideological beliefs, for none of us is devoid of intellectual kinship. But, even so, they are supposed to learn and think in terms of what is good for society. They are supposed to have a good grasp of systemic risks. Vested interests can have a long arm and try to influence regulations and supervision the mortgage industry pressed Congress hard to roll back state rules aimed at stemming the rise of predatory tactics used to lure homeowners into high- cost mortgages.
But vested interests must be strongly resisted, and with all means. Regulators and supervisors should know that financial markets are volatile and prone to instability, and that the efficient-markets hypothesis — that prices reflect all known information — is a fantasy. In the real world, we need regulators and supervisors who have a good understanding of how financial markets function in practice and who do not succumb to market fundamentalism.
They should never underestimate systemic risks; they should always be alert to financial stability. Strains and crises cannot be entirely avoided — but we can limit the damage they cause. For that to happen, we need to learn from mistakes and establish better, more effective and comprehensive regulatory and supervisory setups. But this is pretty much a self-serving argument, hard to accept without qualification.
Not all financial innovation is sound. Not all products and services are accepted by markets; and regulations are needed to protect consumers and investors. Some financial products are better than others; some are flawed by design, among them those that underpinned the international quasi-Ponzi scheme that has enabled companies to report abnormally high profits that do not reflect revenues generated by their businesses.
It therefore makes sense to judge the nature of various financial products, and to regulate the financial industry as a whole. One of the questions posed by this crisis is about policies. As a rule, the pro- cyclical use of monetary and budget policies should be avoided. One can argue that price stability should play second fiddle when financial stability is at stake, but one has to keep in mind the effects of injecting liquidity into the system when inflation is on the rise.
This crisis reminds us again about the risks of financial liberalisation when institutions are not congruent or when markets are not functioning smoothly. Market structures should be re-examined. We have undoubtedly seen a massive failure of regulatory and supervisory frameworks. Risk management, at both micro and macro levels, has failed miserably in countries that claim to epitomise good practices in banking and finance.
Those who keep saying that things are better in Europe than in the US have to think twice about the national fragmentation of regulatory and supervisory structures in the EU, a fragmentation that clashes glaringly with the logic of single markets. The Lamfalussy process, which has been developing regulation of the financial service industry in the EU since , needs much improvement if it is to cope with mounting challenges.
Some argue that since the crisis started in the regulated sector of the financial system, its non-regulated area should be left alone. But this argument is ridiculous: banks have made use of loopholes and poor regulations to develop the non-regulated sector, creating a shadow banking sector. The current crisis is a stern indictment of the incentive structures in the financial industry, which have stimulated reckless risk-taking at the expense of necessary prudence.
This asymmetric compensation scheme has to be corrected and the culture of investment banking has to change for the benefit of the economy as a whole. But inappropriate compensation schemes operate in other industries, too.
There are numerous CEOs who receive incredibly high salaries and bonuses despite the shaky performance of their companies. The structuring of fiscal policies also has to change. It is, for example, quite odd to see Americans saving so little and their deficits being financed by emerging economies.
Moving further along this line of reasoning one reaches the issue of policy coordination against the backdrop of financial globalisation: Is coordination appropriate? Do we have proper structures of global governance? Unless we manage globalisation adequately, rising nationalism principally in the form of protectionism and populism in policy-making could reverse the evolution toward more open markets.
The quest for energy security and affordable food could easily make things worse. The debates about international financial institutions, prematurely asking emerging economies to open their capital account, about energy dependency and about food dependency make glaring the question of the optimal openness of a market.
In addition, open markets should not to be confused with deregulated markets; deregulated markets could easily backfire and cripple the functioning of a free society, one in which social cohesion and social justice are meaningful. Open markets, in order to operate as such, have to be accompanied by wise public intervention, which should consider both market and government failures. The bottom line is: Full openness is not necessarily advantageous economically and socially.
Arguably, the view that the market should be seen as the solution for all decision-making, a view that has much influenced policy-making in the last couple of decades, has been fatally wounded by this crisis. It is high time to be pragmatic, open-minded and commonsensical. Open trade, markets and competition are good. But we need effective regulations and sensible public policies if the majority of our citizens are to benefit from free markets.
As he did not belong to any school, the relationship with institutionalism was not an exception. However Hayek alone is a school, a world of ideas. One having powerful contact points or interference areas that are both the object and subject of a complex research called NIE New Institutional Economics for more than three decades. Influence is not our concern here. Being close to their names would bring them more glory.
They have enough reasons to do it. Topics such as spontaneous and manufactured order, the type of order in a free society, the rules — source of the state, the source of good rules of conduct, etc. However, in the intimate texture of his impressive theoretical construct, institutionalism is omnipresent; present for explaining in an innovative manner the origin and evolution of the free world including the economic one , of its fundamental institutions, especially the market and the state.
We cannot proceed to an exhaustive approach of what is believed to be the institutionalist dimension of the Hayekian work in this study. These are the key words that put Hayek in line with his great forerunners — A. Merger with his organic and pragmatic institutions. The order referred to by Hayek is not a monolithic one. The former is organized taxis and the latter is spontaneous kosmos. It is a relatively simple order in which existential evolution may be intuitively pursued.
The latter, the spontaneous one is endogenous; it comes from the inside and is not related to any social engineering. Methodological individualism and liberal philosophy are employed to prove that the open, great society is especially one of manufactured, non deliberate order when it comes to norms. It would be preferable for it to occupy the entire social space.
The borders between the society components are not clearly delimited. Anyway, the principal thesis upon which Hayek builds his approach is that we will always deal with a combination between spontaneous order and organizations. Yet, an organization never came to occupy the entire field.
Doing otherwise equals to the replacement of spontaneous order by an organization, an unbalanced fact for the social organism. The shape of the whole is not affected. Even if organizations become stronger and their aims are shown in a braver and uncompromising manner, their fulfilment takes place within the same game, i. THE STATE Regardless of the shape, either spontaneous or manufactured, order has its source: its components obey certain rules, in their movement and functioning.
Not the same rules, this in understandable. Some induce spontaneous order and are completely different from the praxis-type organized structure. Yet, regardless of our perspective of seeing things, what is important is that their respect equals the framing of multiple and various individual components in a trend, i. As a matter of fact, if we were to look at the etymology of the word, Hayek prefers the term regularity to rule especially in the case of rules that lead to spontaneous order.
The former are deliberately created, fulfilling the aim of edicts, instructions, directives, with very precise and concretely formulated purposes of the organizations. Their prescriptive nature is obvious. The ones in the latter category do not result from the will and deliberated action of any particular person.
They do not have definite aims, they are abstract, independent of their circumstantial factuality of time and space. Their formation is related to spontaneous, not intentional. Therefore, they do not have a normative, but a prohibitive dimension. It is understandable that due to the logic of things, once fascinated by spontaneous order, Hayek remains an admirer of rules and their respect leads to such an order.
This occurs due to the abstract character of spontaneous rules. Here, in this laboratory which is a representative sample of spontaneous order and is called market, each individual is driven by a visible gain, serving invisible needs Hayek, Aiming for spontaneous order to completely cover the economic and social organism, Hayek similarly seeks the ideal state on this set of rules defined by the exclusive right to existence for spontaneous rules.
He hates constraint and is forced to admit it only when a common good is involved. Not order, either spontaneous or not is the one to receive the feature of just. Dreaming at the ideal state, Hayek is forced to admit that, even in the case of rules, the spontaneous feature is not the only one, regardless of its importance.
Consequently, he is forced to admit that for society to exist and social life to be possible, a certain order is needed. In other words, there are rules beyond our understanding that make social life possible. But this is not all. It is not only a question of the power of understanding, but also of the will of certain members of the citadel.
Other they will follow spontaneously because they will be part of they common cultural tradition. The government is entrusted this mission. This is one of the functions of government, the coercive, unwanted but requisite one. This is a function that, once assumed, ensures the government the character of warrant of the laws, their formality, sanction, perfection and appliance.
However, the government has one more function, i. This is one of those organizations which may turn against society, precisely due to its degree of perfection or its perception as distinct unit beyond people who actually bring it to life, as Mises also underlines. In order to concisely reveal the monstrosity of any totalitarian ideology promoted by such an organization of the acquisitive State-government, Hayek quotes the founder of the first totalitarian state in a motto.
We call him V. Hayek based his argument on the fact that such tendencies will be prevented by the prior set-up of the state, government, its perception as an organization, among others and its inclusion in the general spontaneous order; its submission to common laws, with its internal and organizational regulations and work instruments. Only this is the true state. The other, opposed path is servitude. He was particularly interested in the origin of rules.
In the context in which he considered the origin of deliberated rules as a common place that is easy to understand, he believed it was interesting to make the sources of abstract rules leading to spontaneous order known. He rather stops on the first and second floor especially on the second one to approach the birth and affirmation process of the institutions rules from an evolutionist perspective in his works suggestively called Process of Cultural Evolution, Evolution of Self Maintaining Complex Systems and The Stratification of Rules of Conduct Hayek, Notions such as cultural evolution, practice filtering, selection, imitation or individual innovations are key words which synthetically define Hayekian discourse.
On the contrary, he even believes that Darwinism was inspired from social theory and not vice versa. After their appliance and pursuit, when that particular group gains ascendance and prosperity, other groups imitate it and rules of conduct spread.
There is no establishment process and such a process could not be omitted; all is the result of an evolution process in which evolution and selection operates on and from the results obtained by certain social groups by using particular initially specific, individual rules. Hence selection, adaptation and imitation are not omitted from the explanatory Hayekian framework. Individual responses to these individual circumstances acquire the status of a rule when the latter is likely to produce an order.
How can individual responses start resembling and how can they acquire an abstract dimension? And all this in a process which is spontaneous in itself, starting in an individual innovation, filtered by the gain differences which prove to be the most efficient for the social organism. All evolutionist neoinstitutionalists followed him, without hesitating to invoke both him and Darwin when they needed a sustaining argument.
Then all that try to explain the internal dynamics of free world, the rise of open society, starting from Karl Popper must also use Hayek. This does not mean that there are no detractors. Who will read his entire work will easily notice that the aforementioned incompatibility is only apparent. There are also attempts to question the evolutionist theory and the pretended Hayekian rationalism in the cultural evolution of societies.
Hayek is difficult to read and understand. He may seem obscure but this in only due to his unequalled power of abstractization and not due to the fact that he lacked correct understanding of things. Yet, even if he does not admit these critiques, Hayek is forgiven for the presumptive methodological and explanatory gaps pertaining to the force of things and the evolution of facts. Elleboode, Christian, Houliez, Hubert , F.
Hayek: vie, oeuvres, concepts, Paris: Ellipses. Hayek, Friedrich A. That is a difficult attribute when it is dealt with politico-economic processes with the added pretense of remembering past facts and also learning the lessons of History. In this way, the proposal of F. Especially, this is true of the current of thought of the most genuine liberal tradition whose practice defers - in the developing economies that make up the successive peripheral rings of the contemporary capitalism- those socio-economic ingredients that could respond to objectives of social emancipation.
The artisan from Paris died behind the barricade screaming: Freedom! And the truth is that both: -the artisan and the meditator— referred with the same cry to things not very related among themselves. On the other hand, the neoliberal calendar widens its platform insofar as it metabolizes the positive and normative analysis of certain anomalies that acquire structural range as the dialectics engendered by the simultaneous development of the globalization process of the world market and the trends of fragmentation in economic blocks although the accumulated experience teaches us that it is not just a mere return of the orthodoxy at all.
In fact, the current neoliberal politico-economic program is supported by a scientific paradigm that has not faded away in an irreversible way since , neither even with the ascents of keynesian welfare state or the centralized planning that denied, in different degree, the viability of the mechanisms of the so-called free market to allocate resources efficiently.
More than a return of the liberalism, in strict sense, it is the verification of its permanency, sometimes in a hidden way, but without altering the genetic load at philosophical, political, economic levels, The versatility of neoliberalism to defend a certain socio-economic project is, apparently, surprising.
A discourse, the persuasive load of which is also fostered insofar as it is disclosed as an homogenous project even, the only one viable in a historical situation in which it is glimpsed the deep weakness of the keynesian question of the economic cycle, the decay of the welfare state and the crisis of the real socialism. Recovering the expositive proposal of F. The conventional scientific practice, in this sense, continually boasts of not subjecting its postulates to a critical reflection on the interests that guide it, but this elimination attempt is, in itself, an ideological decision.
The thought current agglutinated in the present neoliberalism means an ideological system of significance and representation of phenomena of social interest and, simultaneously, the negation of that ideological load. And in this contraposition lies one of the main legitimization sources: the merely technical character of regulation of the economic and seemingly neuter cycle regarding the sectoral, corporate and social class interests.
Ricoeur, Unable to be distanced from the immediate thing, its program does not possess a global representation of itself and it is ineluctably condemned to continue a fragmented development in repetitive events and, consequently, historically insignificant. In the second place, the fragmentation of reality that neoliberalism makes with the support of mass-media channels does not require to provide evidence on partial events because the instruments that make the process intelligible disappear and a historical process can only be initiated when there is a consecutive development of same.
Baudrillard, Besides, the mentioned scientific and communicative fragmentation means a selfish symbolic impoverishment of reality: the neoliberal diagnosis simplifies the main social and economic problems and proposes a program of persuasive action just because it is trivial. In this way, the neoliberal alternative is basically a cynic practice because it declares its theoretical prepotency to present itself as the only viable technical solution in front of the serious economic problems in the present situation of History that, paradoxically, is condemned to its imminent end Garcia Menendez, Without a doubt, this is the critical mass of the discourse of certain.
Bell proclaimed the agony of ideologies understood as exhausted currents that are substituted by neoconservatism and neoempirism sic that the author does not surprisingly consider as ideologies. Neoliberalism adopts this technocratic point of view of the vulgar positivism to define the "ideology" concept by means of the curious diagnosis of its nonexistence. It is not a catastrophist advocacy of the end of History but rather the beginning of the history of communicative routine that makes tabula rasa of specificity in the description of relevant facts, identifying selfishly the socio-economic reality with the mirror of its simulation.
In the wide range of lineal and cyclical conceptions of the historical passing by of time only the Hegelian point of view postulates its ineluctable end, a paradoxical forecast for whom, as G. Hegel, approaches the topic both from the point of view of Philosophy and Science Hegel, and In this thought source F. Indeed and from the neoliberal perspective, the disappearance of the dialectics of blocks does not only represent the breakup of geostrategic tensions but also unequivocal signs of the end of History.
A terminal phase in which the dying evolution of ideologies will leave the way to the prophecy of an imaginary Nostradamus that, at the very end of a millennium, announces the progressive universalization of liberal democracy as a kind of government and the extensive domain of the market as a way of allocating the economic resources of society cf.
Fukuyama, and The unifying announcement proposes an authentic historical amnesia and, thus, a somber prospective. A message diffused on the scale of the peripheral capitalism by a growing community of social and educational scientists fascinated by a theoretical system equidistant from the social Darwinism and the trust in the control of politico- economic uncertainty about a well-known future or, in any case, not subjected either to random, or to the risks of alternative ideological and belligerent projects.
The post-historical period led by a totalizing neoliberalism will be nothing but a mere mechanical and perpetual reproduction of itself. Surprisingly, the point of view of F. Nevertheless, our reference to the orthodox interpretation is not unaware of the emptiness caused by the reiterated verification as a communicative phenomenon of the death of ideologies and the end of History. That analytic fragmentation of reality -product of an a-historical reflection on the immediate thing - that was mentioned in the first part of this paper ends up in being the profuse neoliberal elaboration of quasi-identical images, channeled by mass-media, but that do not show the perceptive transcription of outstanding politico-economic processes but the premonition that that Baroque accumulation of information is the mark, the sign of something - maybe History, maybe the neoliberal program itself- that is, respectively, fated to disappear or susceptible of being defeated the day when the victims of the social and economic cost of the neoliberalism find out, as it happens in the classic chronicles of Tacit about the military campaigns in Gaul, that fighting separately they were all together defeated.
Baudrillard, J. Anagrama, Barcelona 2. Bell, D. Tecnos, Madrid 3. Fukuyama, F. Planeta, Barcelona 5. Garcia Menendez, J. Habermas, J. Taurus, Madrid 9. Hegel, G. Solar-Hachette, Buenos Aires Lyotard, J. Ricoeur, P. Findings — In this scenario, it is becoming urgent to have available a technological system such XBRL, that provides support to the important and periodical operations of consolidation of financial information, and to ensure the digital transparency of the insurer organisations that are engaged in this new regulatory challenge.
For that reason, a proposal for action is incorporated. Article type: Viewpoint 1. The European Union continues its steady advance towards an effective harmonization of regulatory frameworks in respect of the financial system and collaboration between the various supervisory authorities Vives, All this is fruit of the transposition of the Basle standards, Basle II in particular, to the European system of juridical governance.
The use of the "new technologies" has been fundamental in this process of change. The institutions of the EU have initiated a similar process for other non-banking intermediation activities. The insurance sector has also benefited from these improvements; the means by which information on performance itself is measured, recorded and communicated is being revolutionised, and a new regulatory framework is being established, known as Solvency II, which generates needs for new technological approaches in the insurance corporations and in the regulatory authorities.
In the realm of a global knowledge-based economy, inter-organisational knowledge-networks are increasingly established with the aim of producing, using and disseminating new knowledge Kreis-Hoyer and Gruenberg- Bochard, In the case of Solvency II, it is intended to generate a network formed by the national supervisors of the member states, in which the insurers participate as the active object of supervision and suppliers of basic information about their activity.
From several different fronts come warnings of the need to apply technology to risk measurement Karuppuswamy et al. The financial services industry has changed profoundly because of a new delivery channel, the Internet, the explosion of e-commerce and the emergence of a knowledge-intensive economy Malhotra and Malhotra, In this context of regulatory change, because of all these developments, the new technologies will again become involved, widely and deeply, as facilitators of implementation.
The insurers not only provide protection against future events that may result in losses, but they also channel the savings of families to the financial markets as capital needed by the real economy Solvency II, The beginnings of the international regulation known as Solvency can be situated in the 's, as a regulatory framework for the insurance companies.
The basic objective was to guard against possible crises in the insurance market. It was initiated in consequence of the opening of the markets, and its specific objective is to detect inappropriate behaviours of the insurers in order to protect their customers, those buying insurance. Solvency was intended as a common standard on the basis of which the European regulators and, in turn, the national regulators, could develop the standards most suitable for their particular environment.
This gave rise to the existing legislation, the Directives, of the EU on solvency in the insurers. Solvency II has emerged after diverse changes experienced in the regulation of Solvency. It was early in when the Commission of the European Union began the Solvency II project with the object of studying the possibility of initiating consultations to produce a new standard of common prudential supervision for insurance companies.
In March there was an ostensible change of approach to the application of Solvency; the project passed from being based entirely on the risk of underwriting to an integrated risk approach whose particular feature is the position of the insurer against all the risks assumed. The Solvency rules or standards have been binding since , and the insurance companies were obliged to apply them before In the intervening period, the Directives in force underwent profound and significant modifications with the aim of reflecting the real situation more faithfully: for example, the minimum guarantee fund was increased and, in non-life insurance, the threshold for calculating the solvency margin was raised; and as an additional measure, the supervision was made stricter, and compliance of greater requirements was demanded.
To take account of the modifications imposed by the new regime, Solvency II, the 13 Directives see Annex have been recast in a single text, and new legislation that substantially modifies the background of the content has been added; these Directives covered the topics of life and non-life insurance, reinsurance, insurance groups and winding-up, which are enumerated below EU Commission, The application of the first standards of solvency proved to be simple and robust, and the results can be compared between different insurance companies.
The behaviour of the markets and developments in the general economy also affect the insurance sector. The international presence of the insurers and the management of cross- border risks make it necessary to value the portfolio of risks on a global basis, and to obtain reference values vis a vis the rest of the market. These economic factors demanded the application of new regulatory rules, and demonstrated that the partial reforms of the previously-cited Directives were insufficient.
Solvency II emerged as a report proposing a type of "Lamfalussy Process". In this report, some general principles were established based on the regulation applied to the securities markets, whereby a European Securities Commission is created to determine the technical details and set up a framework to bring about greater cooperation among the European regulators.
The objectives of Solvency II are set out in the work plan of this Lamfalussy- style proposal: to protect those insured; to establish capital requirements for solvency in accordance with the risks assumed by the insurance companies; to avoid complicated processes; to take into account the development of the sector; to establish principles without being excessively rule-bound; and to prevent unnecessary over-capitalisation.
In particular, since the new Directive does not contain technical details on the implementation of Solvency II, CEIOPS will be asked to provide further advice concerning the detailed technical aspects of possible measures for implementing it. Given the realities of the global insurance industry, and the particular complexities of marketing insurance in the framework of the single financial market that the EU is constructing, the European Commission has adopted a proposal concerning "the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance", to introduce a new framework of solvency, capital and supervision for insurers and reinsurers EU Commission, This could be decided by the European Standard Formula.
Currently, this formula is being calibrated on the basis of the reality and needs of the European insurance market. It is expected that this calibration will be finalised during the second half of As a notable innovation, it incorporates the measurement of Operational Risk, a concept that encompasses diverse types of loss not clearly financial, such as frauds, errors, faults in systems and external events Fontnouvelle et al.
The increasing need for collaboration between national supervisory bodies, with the effective exchange of information that this implies, is the principal novel aspect of the new supervision scheme. Effectively, all the recent changes in regulation imply an increase in the transparency of financial corporations Davenport and McDill, Here again, the technologies of information and communications will pay a significant role in support of the efficient release of information to the public and market, as well as in the correct communication of information to the supervisory authority.
Regarding the relationship of the new regulatory framework with the legal accounting framework, the IFRS will really provide the financial information support to enable the effective application of Solvency II; of particular relevance is IFRS 4, which specifically addresses contracts of insurance.
Thus, the European Directive will be a "directive framework", and in its later phases this will result in the regulation at national level, ensuring homogeneity and, at the same time, flexibility between countries. What is now necessary is to select the most suitable technological instruments and to obtain collaboration between entities and regulators, which will enable this flexibility to be achieved without losing the compatibility that will make mutual understanding possible.
To sum up, this is an international project, at various levels, that requires strategic decision-making on the means that will make possible the exchanges of information that will be important throughout the whole regulatory process. Figure 1 National transposition of the project In this scenario Fig. Other factors that may cause errors in the application of Solvency II, through lack of knowledge or distraction, include the need to perform consolidation operations, and the pressing need to communicate information to the market and to the regulators, in addition to the novelty of the two regulatory frameworks.
Rigour and order in the use of the information by controls on information systems will serve as an effective guide in their application; consequently the new information technologies will play a fundamental role when used as parallel supports to the application of the two regulatory frameworks, IFRS and Solvency II. These technological tools should not only be employed in the function of delivering complex and consistent information to the regulators; they should provide value to the company for its own control systems, since they will even enable simulation processes to be run as part of the internal management of information.
In short, what is required is a tool for the representation and transmission of information that is both flexible and rigorous, that enables reliable and secure communication between the insurer entities, the market and the supervisory authorities, without neglecting the important communication between national supervisors within the framework of collaboration that they must maintain. Thus, by means of the use of the new technologies, the underlying objectives of ensuring the proper protection of those insured and the correct functioning of the European internal market can be achieved in an optimum way EU Commission, Undertakings should be allowed to disclose additional information on a voluntary basis.
It is therefore necessary to specify the conditions under which those exchanges of information should be possible. All these constitute a clear call for the adoption of the technological tools referred to. The functioning of mark-up languages is based on attaching an electronic label to each datum that is being handled; in the case of HTML Hyper-Text Mark-up Language , this electronic label provides information on the visual format that we want the datum to have on screen.
In contrast, in the case of XML and XBRL, the label provides additional information meta-information on the nature of the datum that is transmitted. For this reason, a new language based in XML has been created, to make it suitable for the area of financial management and communication.
It is demonstrated that financial markets respond positively to announcements of proprietary XML schema standardization, but not to those of open XML schema standardization Aggarwal et al. But now, standardization is needed in this new framework in which regulatory information must be effectively shared, that it is not possible with proprietary systems.
XBRL is based on the production of different XBRL Taxonomies, which are generated and agreed by consensus in various working groups formed by specialists in computer software, systems and business. The principal mission of these Groups is to generate a specific Taxonomy; that is, the group analyses the model of business reporting that XBRL is intended to support and facilitate, and identifies univocally a dictionary of terms for utilizing these labels in the subsequent generation of Reports in XBRL containing real data that will be transmitted telematically.
Therefore, the Working Group generates the Taxonomy, which is made available free on the Internet, and this allows users to generate various types of Report and validate them correctly; the taxonomy thus represents the best "substratum" for expressing business information of all kinds for utilisation by the numerous software applications that companies and other organisations must use to manage this information Fig.
When the XBRL taxonomy is generated, much care is taken to introduce different business rules into it. These rules take material form by way of standards of presentation, labels in different languages, rules of calculation and logical relationships; these are rules with which the real data "hosted" by the digital labels in the various XBRL Reports must comply. A plain text file with the.
By means of this language a scenario is provided in which the issuers and recipients of this type of information find an efficient "substratum" for making use of it digitally and electronically in various ways, and particularly for using the latest high-performance analytical applications, since all the relevant business information is contained or can readily be contained in XBRL Reports Fig.
There exist various mechanisms for the calculation and logical validation of content of the labels that comprise an XBRL taxonomy. Because these labels, and the real data that these labels "host" when an XBRL report is produced, can be submitted to these mechanisms, they become simple but powerful tools. When business information is expressed by XBRL, this represents an additional guarantee of the quality of this information.
Furthermore, XBRL taxonomies can be extended by the user privately; this facility ensures that, on the one hand, companies can make use of their own more detailed reporting models with particular characteristics specific to their own business, for internal use, and on the other, that there is no loss of compatibility with the general model that the company must use to report externally Boixo and Flores, XBRL has arisen to meet the real need to "homogenize" business information and make it compatible in an environment where different entities must communicate rapidly and clearly with each other but where there are no pre-existing programs and formats that are mutually satisfactory and totally efficient.
In addition to this, one of the greatest advantages of XBRL lies in the property of the Taxonomies whereby they can be extended by the users. In other words, once a Taxonomy has been created at the European level, extensions can be created to cover the particular features of the adapted national regulatory frameworks, thus ensuring the homogeneity of the system of information while giving it the flexibility that the framework requires.
The principal objective of this set of institutions is the implementation of the technological-legal system represented by the entry into force of both the regulation of banking risks under Basel II and the international accounting regulation in accordance with the IFRS standards. For its part, the CEBS collaborates with the national authorities to obtain the maximum consensus and harmonization in the application of these regulations in the European context. In the case of Solvency II, there exists an analogous structure in respect of the implementation of the new regulation: both cases concern a regulation of general character, with a consortium of agents involved that act in a highly participative way, and in both cases there is a pressing need for the new business rules to be established simultaneously with the availability of an efficient telematic system that enables the appropriate distribution and processing of the information generated by the sector, so that this information is passed correctly to the regulators and to the market.
Therefore, the application of XBRL to Solvency II would involve first the creation, under the auspices of XBRL International European section , of a Working Group whose principal mission would be to monitor, assist and participate as far as possible in the Groups now working on Solvency II; thus from the initial phases of evolution of the regulatory framework, the Group would come to be in a position to foresee what reporting models will be needed.
The XBRL language is already having a revolutionary impact on the ways whereby financial information is moved telematically, by Internet; and users in all spheres are appreciating the benefits of having raw material, i. The advantages derived from the application of this project, together with the particular characteristics of the Solvency II project, indicate that XBRL is the ideal telematic tool, and that it can make a valuable contribution to the reform of the regulatory framework for the insurance sector at the European level.
As with Basel II, there is a change of philosophy that is profoundly affecting the methods of risk measurement, the role played by the supervisory authorities, and the priority given to corporate transparency in the strategies of all the entities involved. The complex inter-meshing of regulatory changes and adaptations in business practices inevitably affects the way that information on the entity's own activity is recorded and exchanged at various internal levels, and the ways and formats in which this information is disseminated externally, whether to stakeholders, the public, the market or the supervisory authority.
In the case of world wide corporations, flexibility is needed in order to efficiently implement the standards Svensson and Wood, The XBRL language is already having a revolutionary impact on the ways whereby financial information is moved telematically, by Internet, and users in all spheres are appreciating the benefits of having raw material, i.
Equally necessary will be an adequate measure of the success of this technological-regulatory project Kutsch, Aggarwal, N. International Journal of Electronic Commerce. Boixo, I. International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organizations. Chan W. Using the internet for financial disclosures: the Australian experience. International Journal of Electronic Finance. Davenport, A.
M and McDill, K. Journal of Financial Services Research. EU Commision. Insurance regulation 9. Fontnouvelle, P. Federal Reserve. Kreis-Hoyer, P. International Journal of Technology Management. Ho, P. Hsu, P. Karuppuswamy, P. International Journal of Business Performance Management. Kutsch, E. International Journal of Electronic Business. Lin, C. International Journal of Technology Management..
Locke, J. Malhotra, R. Svensson, G. European Business Review, 20, 3, pp. Solvency II. Vives, X. Williams, S. Scifleet, P. International Journal of Information Management. Ye, G. Then, the study deals with a topic often discussed in the scientific literature and included on the agenda of decision-makers at various levels, in order to clarify the following major issues: a shorter transition to the euro, the exchange rate equilibrium versus the inflation rate diminution and the Balassa-Samuelson effect, the exchange rates and the exchange rate deviation index, evidences concerning the real exchange rate equilibrium and the appreciation of the exchange rate in the CEE countries.
Keywords: Convergence criteria, exchange rate, exchange rate mechanisms, Euro Area, Balassa-Samuelson effect, tradable goods, non-tradable goods, exchange rate deviation index, purchasing power parity. European integration requires convergence not only on the institutional and real economy areas, but also on the nominal area, by the creation and consolidation of the monetary union and the transition of the EU member countries to the single currency euro.
Having joined the European Union — as a proof of the general achievement of institutional convergence — the countries become very soon members of the Economic and Monetary Union and are entitled, ex officio, to adopt the single currency while complying with the criteria of the Maastricht Treaty. The EMU is an upper stage of multinational integration that implies the following: common monetary policy, proper coordination of the economic policies of the member states, single currency, full liberalisation of the capital flow, an effective institutional system for the monetary policy coordination and control.
The principle of subsidiarity is excluded from the monetary field. As regards the common monetary policy, unlike other issues, the member countries transfer the decision-making from the national level to the Community one and give up their sovereignty over the monetary policy.
The history of the preparations for nominal convergence is relatively similar and closely connected to the history of the economic integration. Such preparations may include first the actions for the creation of the European institutions, such as: the European Union of Payments , the European Monetary System , the Committee for the Study of Economic and Monetary Union , the European Fund for Monetary Cooperation , the European Monetary Institute , the European System of Central Banks the European Central Bank and the central banks of the member states , the creation and updating of the exchange rate mechanism.
Obviously, the Treaty: 1 caused the introduction of the common monetary policy based on a single currency, administered by a single independent central bank — the European Central Bank ECB ; and 2 set the nominal convergence criteria to be fulfilled by the member states in order to become members of the European Monetary Area.
The fundamental objective of the common monetary policy and exchange rate policy, set by the Treaty, is, on the one hand, price stability and, on the other hand, support without any damage to price stability for the general economic policy of the EU for real convergence, by catching up with the developed countries, in compliance with the principles of the market economy, competition and cohesion.
On the common monetary policy. The transition to the EMU entails differentiated changes in the policies and the decision systems for the three pillars. The monetary pillar is based on a very centralized coordination, achieved by the replacement of the national policies with Community policies. Moreover, action is taken to adapt the entire institutional system as well as its infrastructure, in support of the above changes.
The EMU member states model their responsibility for the economic policy in accordance with the subsidiarity principle and what is required by the open marked economies and the fair competitive environment. Here, the stress is laid, on the one hand, on extending the coordination of the fiscal policy to the EU and, on the other hand, on increasing the capability of the member states to gradually achieve convergence in the economic performance field.
On the nominal convergence criteria. These criteria are the minimal requirements to be met by an EU member state to enter the euro zone. Joining the euro area means that the states must give up their national currency and their national monetary policy and, equally, adopt both the single European currency and the common monetary policy, formulated and coordinated by the European Central Bank.
This process is closely linked with the institutional and real convergence and implies tree main stages: pre-accession to the EU, post-accession to the EU and euroisation. It lasts until the accession to the EU. During the pre-accession stage, the applicant countries, on the one hand, maintain their monetary sovereignty, which enables them to choose the proper exchange rate regime, as a ground of the macroeconomic stability. On the other hand, the countries are compelled to adopt the Community acquis concerning the independence of the central bank, the liberalisation of the capital flows, the ban on the direct financing of the government by the central bank, the ban on the privileged access of the government to financial institutions.
During the pre-accession to the EU and , the candidate countries established the exchange rate regimes presented in Table 4. As for Romania and Bulgaria, the pre-accession period ranged since up to , for the same reasons. Eijffinger and S. Practice proves that there is no single recipe to optimize the exchange rate regime in these countries.
The selection of the regime was based on features and priorities specific to each country. Either opting for flexible solutions free floating and controlled floating or opting for the fixed exchange rates, governments managed to fulfil the main task concerning the inflation decrease, the balance of payments equilibrium, the protection against speculative attacks and the prevention of the negative effects of volatile capital.
The adoption of different exchange rate regimes was meant either to ensure price stability, whether they were compatible or not, or to achieve exchange rate stability. During the transition period , the countries shifted from quick mechanisms to flexible mechanisms to ensure disinflation and economic growth. Only the countries confronted with monetary crisis and excessive openness due to the small size of the national economy Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania adopted a monetary council or fixed exchange rates in order to ensure monetary stability and prevent speculative attacks.
Since there were no constraints during the pre-accession period, it was possible to adopt different types of exchange rate. This mechanism was called ERM I. The main feature of this stage is that the countries lose most of their monetary sovereignty, since the European Central Bank takes over most tasks from the national central banks in matters of monetary policy. In the single market based on the free movement of the goods, services and factors, the effects of excessive fluctuations in the exchange rate of an EU member states extend freely to the entire Community economy and damage the other member states.
That is why exchange rates are common problems that must be solved on the EU level. Under these circumstances, the monetary policy of the new EU member states is subject to a new exchange rate mechanism ERM II , meant to assure price and exchange rate stability in accordance with the convergence criteria of the Maastricht Treaty, as a prerequisite to the accession to the Euro Area. Any discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of various currency arrangements, as well as the desire for a shorter or immediate accession to the Euro Area are practically superfluous.
The new member states can no longer have their own options that might contradict the official position of the EU, since either the problems are clarified by treaties and agreements, or the countries have no significant power of negotiation with the Community authorities in order to influence the decision-making. According to the Copenhagen criteria, the new EU member states have to make every endeavour to accede to the EMU as soon as possible, provided that they meet the criteria. Romania, and other countries which signed the Accession Treaty, set different terms for the ERM II adoption and integration into the Euro Area, in accordance with their own pace Table 4.
Table 4. Therefore, the new-comers become, within a short period about two years , EMU members. The formulation of the monetary policy in the pre-accession period is based on the four nominal convergence criteria stipulated by the Maastricht Treaty, namely: price stability, exchange rate stability, diminishing long-term interest rate and a sustainable fiscal status non-excessive deficit Table 4.
Price stability The average inflation rate throughout one year before the accession to the Euro Area shall not exceed by over 1. Lower long-term interest The long-term interest rate shall not exceed by maximum two rate percentage points the average of the interests of the three countries with the lowest interest.
The nominal convergence criteria have a strong political motivation. This motivation is connected with the economic and monetary stability and the economic performance of the countries with the best practice, since these countries are considered as benchmarks for the evaluation of the nominal convergence criteria. Although all the countries which joined the EU virtually became after a certain period EMU members also, still their status in relation to the Euro Area was not the same.
As long as these criteria are not attained, those countries remain member states with a derogation status, excluded de jure and de facto from the rights and obligations of the European System of the Central Banks, and the rights and obligations of the Euro Area. For example, according to the reports, none of the countries which acceded to the EU after met the nominal convergence requirements.
The table shows that no country that acceded to the EU in fulfilled all convergence criteria to be immediately accepted into the EMU. Analysing the assessment of the fulfilment of the criteria by each country, we find out the following: two countries Poland and Hungary fulfilled no criteria; two countries Malta and Slovakia fulfilled one criterion; five countries Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Latvia, Slovenia fulfilled two criteria; two countries Sweden and Lithuania fulfilled three criteria.
In , Romania fulfilled only one criterion financial stability. They benefit from the opting-out clause. It is a special status granted to these countries, which did not intend to accede to a certain field of economic cooperation. This exceptional status was meant to avoid the general blocking of the integration advance. For example, the United Kingdom did not wish to join some of the EMU institutions, especially those concerning monetary integration.
As for Denmark, the exceptional status is extended to issues regarding EU defence and citizenship. It was called the first exchange rate mechanism ERM I. Therefore, the multilateral system was replaced with the bilateral one, according to which each national currency is defined by a central parity rate in euros. To assess the fulfilment of the convergence criteria by Romania and Bulgaria in comparison with the Czech Republic a country on a higher development and integration level , we present in Table 4.
The central parity is the daily rate average in The plus sign and the upward movement of the exchange rate in the chart mean the national currency depreciation in relation to the euro, and the minus sign and the downward movement of the exchange rate mean the national currency appreciation.
It is not our intention to provide causal explanations of the above trend, but we only point out that this phenomenon causes tension in the economy, since it hinders exports and stimulates imports. Indices of the corporate consumer price inflation 1. Average in three countries with the lowest inflation 1. General governmental deficit in relation to the GDP 1. Reference value General governmental debt in relation to the GDP 1.
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