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.
07.05.2020 • 7/2020
Launch of IWH Bankruptcy Update: Number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany constant despite Corona crisis
Despite the Corona outbreak, the number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany so far remains at 2019 levels. This is according to the new IWH Bankruptcy Update provided by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) on a monthly basis and much earlier than official statistics.
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01.04.2019 • 8/2019
Bank profitability increases after eliminating consolidation barriers
When two banks merge because political consolidation barriers are abolished, the combined entity is considerably more profitable and useful to the real economy. This is the headline result of an analysis of compulsory savings banks mergers carried out by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). The study yields important insights for the German and the European banking market.
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03.05.2016 • 20/2016
Are Lacking Structural Reforms in the Financial Sector the Underlying Reason for the German Criticism of the ECB?
The major reason for the intense criticism of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) low-interest-rate policy may be the lack of structural reforms in the German banking system. The resulting persistent fragmentation increases the banking sector’s vulnerability to the low-interest-rate environment. Hence, parts of the banking sector, due to their strong ties to politicians, appear to have successfully influenced public opinion against the ECB.
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Financial Constraints on Growth: Comparing the Balkans to Other Transition Economies
Eastern European Economics,
This article applies an adjusted growth diagnostic approach to identify the currently most binding constraint on financing growth in the West Balkan countries. Since this group of economies faces both structural and systemic transformation problems, the original supply-side approach might not be sufficient to detect the most binding constraint. The results of the analysis indicate that the binding constraint on credit and investment growth in the region is the high and increasing share of nonperforming loans, primarily in the household sector, due to policy failures. This article compares the Balkan countries to a group of advanced transition economies. Single-country and panel regressions indicate that demand-side factors do not play a constraining role on growth in the West Balkan countries, but they do in the advanced transition economies.
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.
New IMF Lending Facilities and Financial Stability in Emerging Markets
Economic Analysis and Policy,
In the light of the current global financial and economic crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has undertaken some major reforms of its lending facilities. The new Flexible Credit Line and the High Access Precautionary Arrangements differ from what has been in place so far, by allowing for ex ante conditionality. This paper summarizes preconditions for effective last resort lending and evaluates the newly introduced measures, concluding that the Flexible Credit Line comes very close to what has been called an International Lender of Last Resort. The main obstacles are the low demand and slow progress in complementary reforms.
Reform of IMF Lending Facilities Increases Stability in Emerging Market Economies
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Following the current international financial and economic crisis the IMF reformed its lending facilities. Two new instruments are of particular importance: the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and the High Access Precautionary Arrangements (HAPA). The major innovation of the new facilities is that the traditional ex-post conditionality is replaced by an ex-ante qualification process. An ex-ante qualification process leads to a short-term availability of funds during the emergence of crises and avoids long negotiation processes during a crisis. Additionally, the FCL is high powered, amounting to 900 to 1000% of the quota. It can therefore be expected that the programs have preventive effects. In difference to previous attempts to implement precautionary credit lines, the FCL and HAPA successfully created demand. First empirical observations show, that a stigmatization, which could have been expected from experience, did not take place. Countries who qualified for the FCL did rather well during the current crisis and did not face shrinking confidence due to expected crises. To be more efficient, the new lending facilities should be complemented be an international regulatory framework, which limits moral-hazard-induced higher risk taking. Additionally more members should be encouraged to demand the new instruments to increase its systemic importance.