06.07.2015 • 27/2015
Rejection of Reforms as a Chance for Reforms
The President of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association continues to see a chance for an agreement between the European Union (EU) and Greece. On the surface, Grexit looks now more likely than ever. But the resignation of Yanis Varoufakis, Minister of Finance, and the outcome of the referendum may also provide a chance for the Greek government to agree on reforms and save face. But the window of opportunity is closing very fast.
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Consequences of China’s Opening to Foreign Banks
L. Song, R. Garnaut, C. Fang, L. Johnston (eds.), China's Domestic Transformation in a Global Context. Acton: ANU Press,
China’s government has recently implemented additional reforms to relax the regulatory environment for foreign banks. Specifically, State Council Order No. 657, signed by Premier Li Keqiang, announced a decision to revise the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Administration of Foreign-Funded Banks, effective from 1 January 2015. Implications of the revised regulations include removal of the requirement that a minimum of RMB100 million operating capital be transferred unconditionally from the overseas parent bank to the newly opened Chinese branch. In addition, in terms of the conditions attached to the right to carry out RMB-denominated activity, foreign banks are now eligible to apply to undertake local currency business after operating in China for one year—down from the previous three years. The requirement for two consecutive years of profit will be scrapped as well.
Ökonomische Wirksamkeit der konjunkturstützenden finanzpolitischen Maßnahmen der Jahre 2008 und 2009: Forschungsergebnisse des Leibniz-Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH) und Kiel Economics im Auftrag des BMF
Monatsbericht des BMF,
Insgesamt haben die finanzpolitischen Maßnahmen, die in Deutschland in den Jahren 2008 und 2009 inmitten der schweren Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise zur Stabilisierung der konjunkturellen Lage ergriffen wurden, geholfen, den Einbruch der Produktion abzudämpfen. Die wichtigsten konjunkturellen Impulse kamen im Umfeld der weltweiten Finanzkrise von der Umweltprämie, der Ausweitung der öffentlichen Investitionen und dem Wirtschaftsfonds Deutschland, dem Kredit- und Bürgschaftsprogramm für Unternehmen.
Konjunkturstützend wirkten insbesondere auch automatische Stabilisatoren, d. h. der Anstieg der Sozialausgaben und der Rückgang der Steuereinnahmen, die sich ohne Eingriffe des Staates als eine Folge der konjunkturellen Entwicklung ergeben. Ohne sie wäre das Bruttoinlandsprodukt (BIP) im Jahr 2009 um rund einen halben Prozentpunkt stärker gesunken. Der maßgebliche Stabilisierungseffekt ging dabei von der progressiven Einkommensteuer aus.
Die Ausweitung der Kurzarbeit half zwar, die Beschäftigung zu stützen, trug aber praktisch nicht zur Stabilisierung von Einkommen und Produktion bei. Nahezu alle Maßnahmen entfalteten ihre Effekte erst mit zum Teil deutlicher Verzögerung. Am schnellsten wirkte die Umweltprämie. Die Wirkungen der Infrastrukturmaßnahmen, z. B. des Zukunftsinvestitionsgesetzes, reichten hingegen bis in das Jahr 2012 hinein.
Ein Patentrezept für zukünftige Rezessionen lieferten die in den Jahren 2008 und 2009 ergriffenen Maßnahmen nicht. Die automatischen Stabilisatoren und institutionellen Regeln auf dem Arbeitsmarkt, die eine flexible Reaktion auf Konjunkturschwankungen ermöglichen – wie etwa flexible Arbeitszeiten beziehungsweise Arbeitszeitkonten –, spielen eine große Rolle bei der Stabilisierung der Konjunktur.
Coordination between Municipalities and Local Non-Municipal Public Units (NMPUs) for Supporting Urban Economic Development: Theoretical Analysis and Empirical Evidence for the Example of Universities in Germany
Koordination raumwirksamer Politik: Mehr Effizienz und Wirksamkeit von Politik durch abgestimmte Arbeitsteilung,
In many European cities, policymakers are trying to change the local paths of economic development to head in new directions, e.g. by trying to become a location for Non-Municipal Public Units (NMPUs), like federal special agencies, state museums, military bases, universities or publicly funded research institutes. But as the competencies for such local NMPUs are allocated to higher levels of government, the municipal level has no direct formal institutional responsibilities for influencing their location. Once a NMPU has chosen a certain location, support from the municipality may, however, stabilize the NMPU. There are some categories of NMPUs that should have considerable interest in local conditions, as determined by the municipal level. This paper first theoretically categorizes NMPUs with regard to their importance for the urban economy, with regard to the importance of local conditions for the performance of NMPUs and with regard to their degree of fiscal autonomy. It is shown that universities are one example of NMPUs where the relevance of coordinating activities with the municipalities is fairly high. The benefits of universities for local economic development have often been discussed. From the point of view of universities, their capacity to attract human capital depends on factors which may be influenced by the municipalities. This means that there is a reciprocal relationship between municipalities and universities; coordination by cooperation between the partners could be useful for both – but in practice there is often a lack of cooperation. Information policy is one relevant field for coordination: the city should highlight publicly the advantages of local universities; the universities should highlight the advantages of their city. As information policy is a field for which empirical data is available, the empirical part of the paper presents results from an analysis based on the internet presentations of selected cities and universities. It is shown that in most cities the level of coordination in this field is so far quite low. One possible way to achieve a higher degree of coordination could be to introduce fiscal incentives for cities.
Taxes, Banks and Financial Stability
Taxation and Regulation of the Financial Sector,
In response to the financial crisis of 2008/2009, numerous new taxes on financial institutions have been discussed or implemented around the world. This paper discusses the connection between the incidence of the taxes, their incentive effects, and policy makers’ objectives. Combining basic insights from banking theory with standard models of tax incidence shows that the incidence of such taxes will disproportionately fall on small and medium size enterprises. The arguments presented suggest it is unlikely that the taxes will have a beneficial impact on financial stability or raise significant amounts of revenue without increasing the cost of capital to bank dependent firms significantly.
Financial Stability and Central Bank Governance
International Journal of Central Banking,
The financial crisis has ignited a debate about the appropriate objectives and the governance structure of Central Banks. We use novel survey data to investigate the relation between these traits and banking system stability focusing in particular on their role in micro-prudential supervision. We find that the separation of powers between single and multiple bank supervisors cannot explain credit risk prior or during the financial crisis. Similarly, a large number of Central Bank governance traits do not correlate with system fragility. Only the objective of currency stability exhibits a significant relation with non-performing loan levels in the run-up to the crisis. This effect is amplified for those countries with most frequent exposure to IMF missions in the past. Our results suggest that the current policy discussion whether to centralize prudential supervision under the Central Bank and the ensuing institutional changes some countries are enacting may not produce the improvements authorities are aiming at. Whether other potential improvements in prudential supervision due to, for example, external disciplinary devices, such as IMF conditional lending schemes, are better suited to increase financial stability requires further research.
Spillover Effects among Financial Institutions: A State-dependent Sensitivity Value-at-Risk Approach
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis,
In this paper, we develop a state-dependent sensitivity value-at-risk (SDSVaR) approach that enables us to quantify the direction, size, and duration of risk spillovers among financial institutions as a function of the state of financial markets (tranquil, normal, and volatile). For four sets of major financial institutions (commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds, and insurance companies) we show that while small during normal times, equivalent shocks lead to considerable spillover effects in volatile market periods. Commercial banks and, especially, hedge funds appear to play a major role in the transmission of shocks to other financial institutions.