Global financial system

From Academic Kids

The Global Financial System refers to those financial institutions and regulations that act on the international level, as opposed to those that act on a national or regional level. The main players are the global institutions, such as IMF and World Bank, national agencies and government departments, e.g. central banks and finance ministries, and private institutions acting on the global scale e.g. banks and hedge funds.

Deficiencies and reform of the GFS have been hotly discussed in recent years.



The history of financial institutions must be differentiated from economic history and history of money. In Europe, it starts with the first financiers and banks in the 1400-1600s in central and western Europe. The first modern bank was Bank of Barcelona (1401); the first global financiers the Fuggers (1487) in Germany; the first stock company in England (Russia Company 1553); the first foreign exchange market (The Royal Exchange 1566, England); the first stock exchange the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Milestones in the history of financial institutions are the Gold Standard (1871-1932), the founding of IMF, World Bank at Bretton Woods, and the abolishment of fixed exchange rates in 1973.


International Institutions

The most prominent international institutions are the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO

  • The World Bank [2] (http:/ Aims to provide funding, take up credit risk or offer favorable terms to development projects mostly in developing countries that couldn't be obtained by the private sector.

Government Institutions

Governments act in various ways as actors in the GFS: they pass the laws and regulations for financial markets and set the tax burden for private players, e.g. banks, funds and exchanges. They also participate actively through discretionary spending. They are closely tied (though in most countries independent of) to central banks that issue government debt, set interest rates and deposit requirements, and intervene in the foreign exchange market.

Private Participants

Players acting in the stock-, bond-, foreign exchange-, derivatives- and commodities-markets and investment banking are

Legal Frameworks and Treatises

Major Incidents

The most current incidents in the GFS are the Asian financial crisis, the following devaluations in Russia, Brazil and Argentina and the bursting of the Dot-Com bubble

Criticism, Discussions and Reform

Among the many critics of the GFS are

See also

General areas of finance

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Financial markets | Fund management | Financial institutions | Personal finance | Public finance | Financial mathematics | Financial economics

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