10.08.2015 • 30/2015
Germany Benefited Substantially from the Greek Crisis
The balanced budget in Germany is largely the result of lower interest payments due to the European debt crisis. Research from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows that the debt crisis resulted in a reduction in German bund rates of about 300 basis points (BP), yielding interest savings of more than EUR 100 billion (or more than 3% of gross domestic product, GDP) during the period 2010 to 2015. A significant part of this reduction is directly attributable to the Greek crisis. When discussing the costs to the German tax payer of saving Greece, these benefits should not be overlooked, as they tend to be larger than the expenses, even in a scenario where Greece does not repay any of its debts.
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Monetary Policy under the Microscope: Intra-bank Transmission of Asset Purchase Programs of the ECB
IWH Discussion Papers,
With a unique loan portfolio maintained by a top-20 universal bank in Germany, this study tests whether unconventional monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB) reduced corporate borrowing costs. We decompose corporate lending rates into refinancing costs, as determined by money markets, and markups that the bank is able to charge its customers in regional markets. This decomposition reveals how banks transmit monetary policy within their organizations. To identify policy effects on loan rate components, we exploit the co-existence of eurozone-wide security purchase programs and regional fiscal policies at the district level. ECB purchase programs reduced refinancing costs significantly, even in an economy not specifically targeted for sovereign debt stress relief, but not loan rates themselves. However, asset purchases mitigated those loan price hikes due to additional credit demand stimulated by regional tax policy and enabled the bank to realize larger economic margins.
Payment Defaults and Interfirm Liquidity Provision
Review of Finance,
Using a unique data set on French firms, we show that credit constrained firms that face liquidity shocks are more likely to default on their payments to suppliers. Credit constrained firms pass on a sizeable fraction of such shocks to their suppliers. This is consistent with the idea that firms provide liquidity insurance to each other and that this mechanism is able to alleviate credit constraints. We show that the chain of defaults stops when it reaches unconstrained firms. Liquidity appears to be allocated from firms with access to outside finance to credit constrained firms along supply chains.
Deriving the Term Structure of Banking Crisis Risk with a Compound Option Approach: The Case of Kazakhstan
Discussion paper, Series 2: Banking and financial studies, No. 01/2010,
We use a compound option-based structural credit risk model to infer a term structure of banking crisis risk from market data on bank stocks in daily frequency. Considering debt service payments with different maturities this term structure assigns a separate estimator for short- and long-term default risk to each maturity. Applying the Duan (1994) maximum likelihood approach, we find for Kazakhstan that the overall crisis probability was mainly driven by short-term risk, which increased from 25% in March 2007 to 80% in December 2008. Concurrently, the long-term default risk increased from 20% to only 25% during the same period.
Dynamic Order Submission Strategies with Competition between a Dealer Market and a Crossing Network
Journal of Financial Economics,
We analyze a dynamic microstructure model in which a dealer market (DM) and a crossing network (CN) interact for three informational settings. A key result is that coexistence of trading systems generates systematic patterns in order flow, which depend on the degree of transparency. Further, we study overall welfare, measured by the gains from trade of all agents, and compare it with the maximum overall welfare. The discrepancy between both measures is attributable to two inefficiencies. Due to these inefficiencies, introducing a CN next to a DM, as well as increasing the transparency level, not necessarily produces greater overall welfare.
Interbank Exposures: An Empirical Examination of Contagion Risk in the Belgian Banking System
International Journal of Central Banking,
Robust (cross-border) interbank markets are important for the proper functioning of modern financial systems. However, a network of interbank exposures may lead to domino effects following the event of an initial bank failure. We investigate the evolution and determinants of contagion risk for the Belgian banking system over the period 1993–2002 using detailed information on aggregate interbank exposures of individual banks, large bilateral interbank exposures, and cross-border interbank exposures. The "structure" of the interbank market affects contagion risk. We find that a change from a complete structure (where all banks have symmetric links) toward a "multiplemoney-center" structure (where money centers are symmetrically linked to otherwise disconnected banks) has decreased the risk and impact of contagion. In addition, an increase in the relative importance of cross-border interbank exposures has lowered local contagion risk. However, this reduction may have been compensated by an increase in contagion risk stemming from foreign banks.
Measurement Matters — Alternative Input Price Proxies for Bank Efficiency Analyses
Journal of Financial Services Research,
Most bank efficiency studies that use stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) employ each bank’s own implicit input price when estimating efficient frontiers. But at the same time, most studies are based on cost and/or profit models that assume perfect input markets. Traditional input price proxies therefore contain at least substantial measurement error. We suggest here two alternative input market definitions to approximate exogenous input prices. We have access to Bundesbank data, which allows us to cover virtually all German universal banks between 1993 and 2003. The use of alternative input price proxies leads to mean cost efficiency that is significantly five percentage points lower compared to traditional input prices. Mean profit efficiency is hardly affected. Across models, small cooperative banks located in large western states perform best while large banks and those located in eastern states rank lowest.