25 Years IWH

Financial Market Structure and Financial Stability

This research group belongs to the IWH Research Cluster Financial Stability and Regulation. This research group focuses on the role of financial market structures for financial stability. The recent financial crisis has revealed several new financial vulnerabilities that call for adequate regulatory responses. Sovereign solvency and bank default risk need to be made less interdependent by revising incentive structures propagating the transmission of these financial risks. Adequate regulatory treatment is needed for sovereign bond holdings of banks. The role of central bank transparency for international bank investment and financial stability needs to be understood. In a first workpackage, the impact of banking sector instability on sovereign default risk will be considered. The second workpackage analyses the performance of sovereign bond portfolio management of individual banks – by assessing both ex ante optimality of portfolio diversification as well as ex post risk adjusted returns. A third workpackage focuses on the role of central bank transparency for default risk and portfolio holdings of banks. Two aspects of central bank transparency will be considered: Transparency about monetary policy and transparency about macroprudential regulation.

Research Cluster
Financial Stability and Regulation

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Professor Dr Stefan Eichler
Professor Dr Stefan Eichler
Mitglied - Department Financial Markets
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Refereed Publications

How Do Political Factors Shape the Bank Risk-Sovereign Risk Nexus in Emerging Markets?

Stefan Eichler

in: Review of Development Economics , forthcoming

Abstract

This paper studies the role of political factors for determining the impact of banking sector distress on sovereign bond yield spreads for a sample of 19 emerging market economies in the period 1994–2013. Using interaction models, I find that the adverse impact of banking sector distress on sovereign solvency is less pronounced for countries with a high degree of political stability, a high level of power sharing within the government coalition, a low level of political constraint within the political system, and for countries run by powerful and effective governments. The electoral cycle pronounces the bank risk–sovereign risk transfer.

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Regional, individual and political determinants of FOMC members' key macroeconomic forecasts

Stefan Eichler T. Lähner

in: Journal of Forecasting , forthcoming

Abstract

We study Federal Open Market Committee members' individual forecasts of inflation and unemployment in the period 1992–2004. Our results imply that Governors and Bank presidents forecast differently, with Governors submitting lower inflation and higher unemployment rate forecasts than bank presidents. For Bank presidents we find a regional bias, with higher district unemployment rates being associated with lower inflation and higher unemployment rate forecasts. Bank presidents' regional bias is more pronounced during the year prior to their elections or for nonvoting bank presidents. Career backgrounds or political affiliations also affect individual forecast behavior.

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In Search for Yield? Survey-Based Evidence on Bank Risk Taking

Claudia M. Buch S. Eickmeier Esteban Prieto

in: Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control , No. 43, 2014

Abstract

Monetary policy can have an impact on economic and financial stability through the risk taking of banks. Falling interest rates might induce investment into risky activities. This paper provides evidence on the link between monetary policy and bank risk taking. We use a factor-augmented vector autoregressive model (FAVAR) for the US for the period 1997–2008. Besides standard macroeconomic indicators, we include factors summarizing information provided in the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Terms of Business Lending (STBL). These data provide information on banks׳ new loans as well as interest rates for different loan risk categories and different banking groups. We identify a risk-taking channel of monetary policy by distinguishing responses to monetary policy shocks across different types of banks and different loan risk categories. Following an expansionary monetary policy shock, small domestic banks increase their exposure to risk. Large domestic banks do not change their risk exposure. Foreign banks take on more risk only in the mid-2000s, when interest rates were ‘too low for too long’.

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Macroeconomic Factors and Microlevel Bank Behavior

Claudia M. Buch S. Eickmeier Esteban Prieto

in: Journal of Money Credit and Banking , No. 4, 2014

Abstract

We analyze the link between banks and the macroeconomy using a model that extends a macroeconomic VAR for the U.S. with a set of factors summarizing conditions in about 1,500 commercial banks. We investigate how macroeconomic shocks are transmitted to individual banks and obtain the following main findings. Backward-looking risk of a representative bank declines, and bank lending increases following expansionary shocks. Forward-looking risk increases following an expansionary monetary policy shock. There is, however, substantial heterogeneity in the transmission of macroeconomic shocks, which is due to bank size, capitalization, liquidity, risk, and the exposure to real estate and consumer loans.

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Career experience, political effects, and voting behavior in the Riksbank’s Monetary Policy Committee

Stefan Eichler T. Lähner

in: Economics Letters , 2017

Abstract

We find that career experience shapes the voting behavior of the Riksbank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members. Members with a career in the Riksbank and the government prefer higher rates. During a legislation with a center-right (center-left) party administration, MPC members with a career background in the government favor higher (lower) interest rates. Highlights: • The determinants of voting behavior in the Swedish Riksbank are considered. • Voting is analyzed with random effects ordered logit models for 1999–2013. • Interplay of career experience and political factors shapes voting behavior. • Government or Riksbank background leads to higher interest rate votes. • Partisan voting behavior is detected for members with government background.

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Working Papers

Macroeconomic Factors and Micro-Level Bank Risk

Claudia M. Buch

in: Bundesbank Discussion Paper 20/2010 , 2010

Abstract

The interplay between banks and the macroeconomy is of key importance for financial and economic stability. We analyze this link using a factor-augmented vector autoregressive model (FAVAR) which extends a standard VAR for the U.S. macroeconomy. The model includes GDP growth, inflation, the Federal Funds rate, house price inflation, and a set of factors summarizing conditions in the banking sector. We use data of more than 1,500 commercial banks from the U.S. call reports to address the following questions. How are macroeconomic shocks transmitted to bank risk and other banking variables? What are the sources of bank heterogeneity, and what explains differences in individual banks’ responses to macroeconomic shocks? Our paper has two main findings: (i) Average bank risk declines, and average bank lending increases following expansionary shocks. (ii) The heterogeneity of banks is characterized by idiosyncratic shocks and the asymmetric transmission of common shocks. Risk of about 1/3 of all banks rises in response to a monetary loosening. The lending response of small, illiquid, and domestic banks is relatively large, and risk of banks with a low degree of capitalization and a high exposure to real estate loans decreases relatively strongly after expansionary monetary policy shocks. Also, lending of larger banks increases less while risk of riskier and domestic banks reacts more in response to house price shocks.

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A Market-based Indicator of Currency Risk: Evidence from American Depositary Receipts

Stefan Eichler Ingmar Roevekamp

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 4, 2016

Abstract

We introduce a novel currency risk measure based on American Depositary Receipts(ADRs). Using a multifactor pricing model, we exploit ADR investors’ exposure to potential devaluation losses to derive an indicator of currency risk. Using weekly data for a sample of 831 ADRs located in 23 emerging markets over the 1994-2014 period, we find that a deterioration in the fiscal and current account balance, as well as higher inflation, increases currency risk. Interaction models reveal that these macroeconomic fundamentals drive currency risk, particularly in countries with managed exchange rates, low levels of foreign exchange reserves and a poor sovereign credit rating.

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The Political Determinants of Government Bond Holdings

Stefan Eichler T. Plaga

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 14, 2016

Abstract

This paper analyzes the link between political factors and sovereign bond holdings of US investors in 60 countries over the 2003-2013 period. We find that, in general, US investors hold more bonds in countries with few political constraints on the government. Moreover, US investors respond to increased uncertainty around major elections by reducing government bond holdings. These effects are particularly significant in democratic regimes and countries with sound institutions, which enable effective implementation of fiscal consolidation measures or economic reforms.

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Time-varying Volatility, Financial Intermediation and Monetary Policy

S. Eickmeier N. Metiu Esteban Prieto

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 19, 2016

Abstract

We document that expansionary monetary policy shocks are less effective at stimulating output and investment in periods of high volatility compared to periods of low volatility, using a regime-switching vector autoregression. Exogenous policy changes are identified by adapting an external instruments approach to the non-linear model. The lower effectiveness of monetary policy can be linked to weaker responses of credit costs, suggesting a financial accelerator mechanism that is weaker in high volatility periods.

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