Financial Market Structure and Financial Stability
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 ClusterFinancial Stability and Regulation
01.2017 ‐ 12.2020
The Role of Idiosyncratic and Systemic Bank Risks during the Euro Crisis
Bank Market Power and Loan Contracts: Empirical Evidence
in: Economic Notes, forthcoming
Using a sample of syndicated loan facilities granted to US corporate borrowers from 1987 to 2013, we directly gauge the lead banks’ market power, and test its effects on both price and non‐price terms in loan contracts. We find that bank market power is positively correlated with loan spreads, and the positive relation holds for both non‐relationship loans and relationship loans. In particular, we report that, for relationship loans, lending banks charge lower loan price for borrowing firms with lower switching cost. We further employ a framework accommodating the joint determination of loan contractual terms, and document that the lead banks’ market power is positively correlated with collateral and negatively correlated with loan maturity. In addition, we report a significant and negative relationship between banking power and the number of covenants in loan contracts, and the negative relationship is stronger for relationship loans.
The Income Elasticity of Mortgage Loan Demand
in: Financial Markets, Institutions & Instruments, No. 2, Special Issue: 2016 Portsmouth – Fordham Conferenc 2019
One explanation for the emergence of the housing market bubble and the subprime crisis is that increases in individuals’ income led to higher increases in the amount of mortgage loans demanded, especially for the middle class. This hypothesis translates to an increase in the income elasticity of mortgage loan demand before 2007. Using applicant‐level data, we test this hypothesis and find that the income elasticity of mortgage loan demand in fact declines in the years before 2007, especially for the mid‐ and lower‐middle income groups. Our finding implies that increases in house prices were not matched by increases in loan applicants’ income.
Too Connected to Fail? Inferring Network Ties from Price Co-movements
in: Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, No. 1, 2019
We use extreme value theory methods to infer conventionally unobservable connections between financial institutions from joint extreme movements in credit default swap spreads and equity returns. Estimated pairwise co-crash probabilities identify significant connections among up to 186 financial institutions prior to the crisis of 2007/2008. Financial institutions that were very central prior to the crisis were more likely to be bailed out during the crisis or receive the status of systemically important institutions. This result remains intact also after controlling for indicators of too-big-to-fail concerns, systemic, systematic, and idiosyncratic risks. Both credit default swap (CDS)-based and equity-based connections are significant predictors of bailouts. Supplementary materials for this article are available online.
Central Bank Transparency and the Volatility of Exchange Rates
in: Journal of International Money and Finance, 2018
We analyze the effect of monetary policy transparency on bilateral exchange rate volatility. We test the theoretical predictions of a stylized model using panel data for 62 currencies from 1998 to 2010. We find strong evidence that an increase in the availability of information about monetary policy objectives decreases exchange rate volatility. Using interaction models, we find that this effect is more pronounced for countries with a lower flexibility of goods prices, a lower level of central bank conservatism, and a higher interest rate sensitivity of money demand.
Secrecy, Information Shocks, and Corporate Investment: Evidence from European Union Countries
in: Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, 2018
This study examines how national culture affects corporate investment. We argue that national culture affects corporate investment efficiency through the level of secrecy that national culture exhibits. Using a sample of firms from eight culturally-diverse European Union countries, we find that the level of secrecy that national culture exhibits is negatively related to corporate investment efficiency after controlling for a number of firm- and country-level factors. We also find that the negative relation between national culture and corporate investment efficiency is mitigated by an exogenous shock to the information asymmetry problem between managers and investors. Our study highlights the importance of the cultural value of secrecy/transparency as a determinant of investment efficiency at the firm-level.
What Drives the Commodity-Sovereign-Risk-Dependence in Emerging Market Economies?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 23, 2019
Using daily data for 34 emerging markets in the period 1994-2016, we find robust evidence that higher export commodity prices are associated with higher sovereign bond returns (indicating lower sovereign risk). The economic effect is especially pronounced for heavy commodity exporters. Examining the drivers, we find, first, that commodity-dependence is higher for countries that export large volumes of volatile commodities and that the effect increases in times of recessions, high inflation, and expansionary U.S. monetary policy. Second, the importance of raw material prices for sovereign financing can likely be mitigated if a country improves institutions and tax systems, attracts FDI inflows, invests in manufacturing, machinery and infrastructure, builds up reserve assets and opens capital and trade accounts. Third, the concentration of commodities within a country’s portfolio, its government indebtedness or amount of received development assistance appear to be only of secondary importance for commodity-dependence.
Avoiding the Fall into the Loop: Isolating the Transmission of Bank-to-Sovereign Distress in the Euro Area and its Drivers
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 19, 2018
We isolate the direct bank-to-sovereign distress channel within the eurozone’s sovereign-bank-loop by exploiting the global, non-eurozone related variation in stock prices. We instrument banking sector stock returns in the eurozone with exposure-weighted stock market returns from non-eurozone countries and take further precautions to remove any eurozone crisis-related variation. We find that the transmission of instrumented bank distress, while economically relevant, is significantly smaller than the corresponding coefficient in the unadjusted OLS framework, confirming concerns on reverse causality and omitted variables in previous studies. Furthermore, we show that the spillover of bank distress is significantly stronger for countries with poorer macroeconomic performances, weaker financial sectors and financial regulation and during times of elevated political uncertainty.
Channeling the Iron Ore Super-cycle: The Role of Regional Bank Branch Networks in Emerging Markets
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 11, 2018
The role of the financial system to absorb and to intermediate commodity boom induced windfall gains efficiently presents one of the most pressing issues for developing economies. Using an exogenous increase in iron ore prices in March 2005, I analyse the role of regional bank branch networks in Brazil in reallocating capital from affected to non-affected regions. For the period from March 2004 to March 2006, I find that branches directly exposed to this shock by their geographical location experience an increase in deposit growth in the post-shock period relative to non-affected branches. Given that these deposits are not reinvested locally, I further show that branches located in the non-affected region increase lending growth depending on their indirect exposure to the booming regions via their branch network. Even tough, these results provide evidence against a Dutch Disease type crowding out of the non-iron ore sector, further evidence suggests that this capital reallocation is far from being optimal.
Time-varying Volatility, Financial Intermediation and Monetary Policy
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 19, 2016
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.
A Market-based Indicator of Currency Risk: Evidence from American Depositary Receipts
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2016
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.