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
Sovereign Default Risk and Decentralization: Evidence for Emerging Markets
in: European Journal of Political Economy, No. 32, 2013
We study the impact of decentralization on sovereign default risk. Theory predicts that decentralization deteriorates fiscal discipline since subnational governments undertax/overspend, anticipating that, in the case of overindebtedness, the federal government will bail them out. We analyze whether investors account for this common pool problem by attaching higher sovereign yield spreads to more decentralized countries. Using panel data on up to 30 emerging markets in the period 1993–2008 we confirm this hypothesis. Higher levels of fiscal and political decentralization increase sovereign default risk. Moreover, higher levels of intergovernmental transfers and a larger number of veto players aggravate the common pool problem.
Equity Home Bias and Corporate Disclosure
in: Journal of International Money and Finance, No. 5, 2012
I show that more comprehensive corporate disclosure reduces investors’ uncertainty about domestic companies’ payoffs at no cost, thereby decreasing investors’ equity home bias toward a country. Since investors should base their investment decisions on valid and easily interpretable company information only, more comprehensive disclosure will reduce the home bias only if domestic securities law is sufficiently stratified and domestic companies use international accounting standards. Using panel data for 38 countries from 2003 to 2008 I find that more comprehensive disclosure reduces investors’ home bias, though significantly only for countries that sufficiently enforce their securities law and implement international accounting standards.
What Drives Banking Sector Fragility in the Eurozone? Evidence from Stock Market Data
in: Journal of Common Market Studies, No. 4, 2012
This article explores the determinants of banking sector fragility in the eurozone. For this purpose, a stock-market-based banking sector fragility indicator is calculated for eight member countries from 1999 to 2009 using the Merton model (1974). Using a panel framework, it is found that the macroeconomic environment, the structure of the banking sector and the intensity of banking regulation all have an effect on banking sector fragility in the eurozone.
The Term Structure of Banking Crisis Risk in the United States: A Market Data Based Compound Option Approach
in: Journal of Banking and Finance, No. 4, 2011
We use a compound option-based structural credit risk model to estimate banking crisis risk for the United States based on market data on bank stocks on a daily frequency. We contribute to the literature by providing separate information on short-term, long-term and total crisis risk instead of a single-maturity risk measure usually inferred by Merton-type models or barrier models. We estimate the model by applying the Duan (1994) maximum-likelihood approach. A strongly increasing total crisis risk estimated from early July 2007 onwards is driven mainly by short-term crisis risk. Banks that defaulted or were overtaken during the crisis have a considerably higher crisis risk (especially higher long-term risk) than banks that survived the crisis.
Physical Climate Change Risks and the Sovereign Creditworthiness of Emerging Economies
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 8, 2020
I show that rising temperatures can detrimentally affect the sovereign creditworthiness of emerging economies. To this end, I collect long-term monthly temperature data of 54 emerging countries. I calculate a country’s temperature deviation from its historical average, which approximates present day climate change trends. Running regressions from 1994m1-2018m12, I find that higher temperature anomalies lower sovereign bond performances (i.e. increase sovereign risk) significantly for countries that are warmer on average and have lower seasonality. The estimated magnitudes suggest that affected countries likely face significant increases in their sovereign borrowing costs if temperatures continue to rise due to climate change. However, results indicate that stronger institutions can make a country more resilient towards temperature shocks, which holds independent of a country’s climate.
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.
Macroeconomic Factors and Micro-Level Bank Risk
in: Bundesbank Discussion Paper 20/2010, 2010
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.