The article presents a theoretical survey of different ways to analyze the effect coexistence of spot and forward markets has on incentives for non-competitive behavior. There is no common opinion in economic theory concerning the influence of forward contracts on incentives for non-competitive behavior in spot market. Several studies support the hypothesis that introduction of forward trading increases competition in the spot market by erosion of market power. But while it can reduce market power of an individual firm, forward trading facilitates tacit collusion in the market. This ambiguity demonstrates complexity of economic research, aimed at increasing social welfare.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.