Risks, Resilience, and Reforms: Indonesia’s Financial System in 2019

Adam Triggs, Febrio Kacaribu, Jiao Wang
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Indonesia has managed the complex challenges of the global economy well. The country’s capital outflows were smaller in 2018 than during the Taper Tantrum in 2013; the rupiah had regained most of its lost ground by January 2019; the Indonesian stock market has outperformed its peers; growth is forecast to remain stable; inflation is low; unemployment remains below its five-year average; consumer and business confidence are robust; and the government budget has improved through a smaller deficit and cheaper borrowing costs. But significant risks remain. This paper assesses these risks and evaluates the adequacy of Indonesia’s crisis management framework. It finds that the framework has serious deficiencies that could see liquidity challenges become systemic solvency crises. The framework effectively removes Bank Indonesia as the lender of lastresort,risks politicising the process of crisis response, and could mean slower, less effective responses to crises. This paper explores how the framework could be improved and what reforms could be undertaken to deepen Indonesia’s financial system, strengthen financial resilience, and boost the long-term growth outlook.