Little is known about the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), created after the emerging-market crises in the late 1990s to coordinate efforts in preventing and mitigating future crises, with a membership that included top-ranking officials from finance ministries, central banks and regulatory agencies. The FSF has largely avoided the intense scrutiny and criticism that other institutions have come under since the eruption of the global financial crisis. The Financial Stability Board (FSB), the FSF's successor body, was viewed as a move towards putting in place the required mechanisms for ensuring the safety and soundness of the global financial system. Based on interviews with scores of policy makers who worked on the FSF and thousands of pages of previously undisclosed documents, this paper brings to light the failure of regulators to keep pace with the globalization of the financial system.
Although an examination of past events is the focus of much of the paper, its purpose is to help inform the debate about international financial regulation, raising questions about whether the current configuration of the FSB can achieve the goals that the international community has set for it.