Bank for International Settlements

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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an intergovernmental organization of central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks."[1] It is not accountable to any national government. The BIS carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts, and through its annual General Meeting of all members. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks, or to international organizations like itself. Based in Basel, Switzerland, the BIS was established by the Hague agreements of 1930. The name of the BIS in German: Bank für Internationalen Zahlungsausgleich (BIZ), in French: Banque des Règlements Internationaux (BRI), in Italian: Banca dei Regolamenti Internazionali (BRI). It has representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

Contents

Organization of central banks

As an organization of central banks, the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 57 member central banks. While monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation, it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies. Failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time, preferably as a simultaneous policy among all 57 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund, have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be unrealistic. Central banks do not unilaterally "set" rates, rather they set goals and intervene using their massive financial resources and regulatory powers to achieve monetary targets they set. One reason to coordinate policy closely is to ensure that this does not become too expensive and that opportunities for private arbitrage exploiting shifts in policy or difference in policy, are rare and quickly removed.

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