Politics, Banks, and Sub-sovereign Debt: Unholy Trinity or Divine Coincidence?
Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper,
We exploit election-driven turnover in State and local governments in Germany to study how banks adjust their securities portfolios in response to the loss of political connections. We find that local savings banks, which are owned by their host county and supervised by local politicians, increase significantly their holdings of home-State sovereign bonds when the local government and the State government are dominated by different political parties. Banks' holdings of other securities, like federal bonds, bonds issued by other States, or stocks, are not affected by election outcomes. We argue that banks use sub-sovereign bond purchases to gain access to politically distant government authorities.
Messbar, aber milde: Auswirkungen des SMP-Wertpapier-Ankaufprogramms der EZB auf den regionalen Bankenwettbewerb in Deutschland
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Die Europäische Zentralbank (EZB) hat mit dem Securities Markets Programme (SMP) im Mai 2010 ein Instrument unkonventioneller Geldpolitik eingeführt. Im Rahmen des SMP erwarb sie im Wert von 218 Mrd. Euro Staatsanleihen ausgewählter Länder, welche erhöhten Risikoaufschlägen am Kapitalmarkt ausgesetzt waren. Eine mögliche Nebenwirkung solcher Ankaufprogramme ist es, auch jene Banken zu stützen, die nicht zum direkten Adressatenkreis gehören, aber Anleihen betroffener Länder in ihren Portfolios hielten. Möglicherweise resultierende Refinanzierungs-, Ertrags-, und Liquiditätsvorteile für bevorteilte Banken könnten zu Wettbewerbsverzerrungen führen. Dieser Beitrag betrachtet deshalb die Wertpapierportfolios regionaler deutscher Banken, um den kausalen Effekt des SMP auf das Wettbewerbsverhalten zu identifizieren. Die empirischen Befunde belegen in der Tat eine statistisch nachweisbare Zunahme der lokalen Marktanteile jener regionalen Banken, welche Anleihen in ihren Portfolios hielten, die Teil des SMP waren. Während dieses Ergebnis somit einen Beleg für die Existenz unbeabsichtigter Nebenwirkungen unkonventioneller Geldpolitik darstellt, so ist auch festzuhalten dass diese Wettbewerbseffekte ausgesprochen klein sind. Somit ist zumindest für den regionalen Bankenmarkt in Deutschland keine nennenswerte Verwerfung aufgrund dieses Ankaufprogramms festzustellen.
International Banking and Cross-border Effects of Regulation: Lessons from Germany
International Journal of Central Banking,
Supplement 1, March
We analyze the inward and outward transmission of regulatory changes through German banks’ (international) loan portfolio. Overall, our results provide evidence for international spillovers of prudential instruments. These spillovers are, however, quite heterogeneous between types of banks and can only be observed for some instruments. For instance, domestic affiliates of foreign-owned global banks reduce their loan growth to the German economy in response to a tightening of sector-specific capital buffers, local reserve requirements, and loan-to-value ratios in their home country. Furthermore, from the point of view of foreign countries, tightening reserve requirements is effective in reducing lending inflows from German banks. Finally, we find that business and financial cycles matter for lending decisions.
Suppliers as Liquidity Insurers
IWH Discussion Papers,
We examine how financial constraints in portfolios of suppliers affect cash holdings at the level of the customer. Utilizing a data set of private and public French companies and their suppliers, we show that customers rely on their financially unconstrained suppliers to provide them with backup liquidity, and that they stockpile approximately 10% less cash than customers with constrained suppliers. This effect persisted during the global financial crisis, highlighting that suppliers may be viable insurers of liquidity even when financing from banks and other external channels is unavailable. We further show that customers with unconstrained suppliers also simultaneously receive more trade credit; that the reduction in cash holdings is greater for firms with stronger ties to their unconstrained suppliers; and that customers reduce their cash holdings following a significant relaxation in their suppliers’ financial constraints through an IPO. Taken together, the results provide important nuance regarding the implications of supplier portfolios and financial constraints on firm liquidity management.
Inside Asset Purchase Programs: The Effects of Unconventional Policy on Banking Competition
ECB Working Paper Series,
We test if unconventional monetary policy instruments influence the competitive conduct of banks. Between q2:2010 and q1:2012, the ECB absorbed Euro 218 billion worth of government securities from five EMU countries under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP). Using detailed security holdings data at the bank level, we show that banks exposed to this unexpected (loose) policy shock mildly gained local loan and deposit market shares. Shifts in market shares are driven by banks that increased SMP security holdings during the lifetime of the program and that hold the largest relative SMP portfolio shares. Holding other securities from periphery countries that were not part of the SMP amplifies the positive market share responses. Monopolistic rents approximated by Lerner indices are lower for SMP banks, suggesting a role of the SMP to re-distribute market power differentially, but not necessarily banking profits.
05.01.2017 • 3/2017
Secretariat for research network CompNet gets new home at IWH
The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the Secretariat for the Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet), an international network of scholars and practitioners, who share interest for top-notch research and policy analysis on competitiveness and productivity.
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Banks and Sovereign Risk: A Granular View
Journal of Financial Stability,
We investigate the determinants of sovereign bond holdings of German banks and the implications of such holdings for bank risk. We use granular information on all German banks and all sovereign debt exposures in the years 2005–2013. As regards the determinants of sovereign bond holdings of banks, we find that these are larger for weakly capitalized banks, banks that are active on capital markets, and for large banks. Yet, only around two thirds of all German banks hold sovereign bonds. Macroeconomic fundamentals were significant drivers of sovereign bond holdings only after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. With the outbreak of the sovereign debt crisis, German banks reallocated their portfolios toward sovereigns with lower debt ratios and bonds with lower yields. With regard to the implications for bank risk, we find that low-risk government bonds decreased the risk of German banks, especially for savings and cooperative banks. Holdings of high-risk government bonds, in turn, increased the risk of commercial banks during the sovereign debt crisis.