Avoiding the Fall into the Loop: Isolating the Transmission of Bank-to-Sovereign Distress in the Euro Area
Journal of Financial Stability,
While the sovereign-bank loop literature has demonstrated the amplification between sovereign and bank risks in the Euro Area, its econometric identification is vulnerable to reverse causality and omitted variable biases. We address the loop's endogenous nature and isolate the direct bank-to-sovereign distress channel by exploiting the global, non-Eurozone related variation in banks’ 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 Eurozone-related variation. We find that the transmission of instrumented bank distress to sovereign distress is around 50% smaller than the corresponding coefficient in the unadjusted OLS framework, confirming concerns on endogeneity. Despite the smaller relative magnitude, increasing instrumented bank distress is found to be an economically and statistically significant cause for rising sovereign fragility in the Eurozone.
Marginal Returns to Talent for Material Risk Takers in Banking
IWH Discussion Papers,
Economies of scale can explain compensation differentials over time, across firms of different size, different hierarchy-levels, and different industries. Consequently, the most talented individuals tend to match with the largest firms in industries where marginal returns to their talent are greatest. We explore a new dimension of this size-pay nexus by showing that marginal returns also differ across activities within firms and industries. Using hand-collected data on managers in European banks well below the level of executive directors, we find that the size-pay nexus is strongest for investment banking business units and for banks with a market-based business model. Thus, managerial compensation is most sensitive to size increases for activities that can easily be scaled up.
Borrowers Under Water! Rare Disasters, Regional Banks, and Recovery Lending
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
We show that local banks provide corporate recovery lending to firms affected by adverse regional macro shocks. Banks that reside in counties unaffected by the natural disaster that we specify as macro shock increase lending to firms inside affected counties by 3%. Firms domiciled in flooded counties, in turn, increase corporate borrowing by 16% if they are connected to banks in unaffected counties. We find no indication that recovery lending entails excessive risk-taking or rent-seeking. However, within the group of shock-exposed banks, those without access to geographically more diversified interbank markets exhibit more credit risk and less equity capital.
06.07.2020 • 13/2020
IWH issues warning of a new banking crisis
The coronavirus recession could mean the end for dozens of banks across Germany – even if Germany survives the economic crisis relatively unscathed. An analysis by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) shows that many savings banks and cooperative banks are particularly at risk. Loans worth hundreds of billions of euros are on the balance sheets of the financial institutions concerned. IWH President Gropp warns of a potentially high additional burden for the already weakened real economy.
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17.06.2020 • 10/2020
High risk of corporate bankruptcy due to the corona shutdown
The Corona shutdown increases the probability of corporate bankruptcy. An analysis based on corporate financial statements from 2014 to 2018 reveals that in the United Kingdom, 73% of shutdown firms are not able to cover interest expenses from earnings before interest and taxes if they lose one twelfth of annual turnover. In Germany, the fraction amounts to 81%.
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Financial Incentives and Loan Officer Behavior: Multitasking and Allocation of Effort under an Incomplete Contract
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis,
We investigate the implications of providing loan officers with a nonlinear compensation structure that rewards loan volume and penalizes poor performance. Using a unique data set provided by a large international commercial bank, we examine the main activities that loan officers perform: loan prospecting, screening, and monitoring. We find that when loan officers are at risk of losing their bonuses, they increase prospecting and monitoring. We further show that loan officers adjust their behavior more toward the end of the month when bonus payments are approaching. These effects are more pronounced for loan officers with longer tenures at the bank.
Banks’ Equity Performance and the Term Structure of Interest Rates
Financial Markets, Institutions & Instruments,
Using an extensive global sample, this paper investigates the impact of the term structure of interest rates on bank equity returns. Decomposing the yield curve to its three constituents (level, slope and curvature), the paper evaluates the time-varying sensitivity of the bank’s equity returns to these constituents by using a diagonal dynamic conditional correlation multivariate GARCH framework. Evidence reveals that the empirical proxies for the three factors explain the variations in equity returns above and beyond the market-wide effect. More specifically, shocks to the long-term (level) and short-term (slope) factors have a statistically significant impact on equity returns, while those on the medium-term (curvature) factor are less clear-cut. Bank size plays an important role in the sense that exposures are higher for SIFIs and large banks compared to medium and small banks. Moreover, banks exhibit greater sensitivities to all risk factors during the crisis and postcrisis periods compared to the pre-crisis period; though these sensitivities do not differ for market-oriented and bank-oriented financial systems.
12.03.2020 • 4/2020
Global economy under the spell of the coronavirus epidemic
The epidemic is obstructing the economic recovery in Germany. Foreign demand is falling, private households forgo domestic consumption if it comes with infection risk, and investments are postponed. Assuming that the spread of the disease can be contained in short time, GDP growth in 2020 is expected to be 0.6% according to IWH spring economic forecast. Growth in East Germany is expected to be 0.9% and thus higher than in West Germany. If the number of new infections cannot be decreased in short time, we expect a recession in Germany.
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12.12.2019 • 24/2019
Global economy slowly gains momentum – but Germany still stuck in a downturn
In 2020, the global economy is likely to benefit from the recent thaw in trade disputes. Germany’s manufacturing sector, however, will recover only slowly. “In 2020, the German economy will probably grow at a rate of 1.1%, and adjusted for the unusually high number of working days the growth rate will only be 0.7%”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). With an estimated growth rate of 1.3%, production in East Germany will outpace total German production growth.
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