Brown Bag Seminar
Brown Bag Seminar Financial Markets Department The seminar series "Brown...
Reports of the European Forecasting Network (EFN)
Reports of the European Forecasting Network (EFN) The European Forecasting...
The New Europe
The new Europe The financial crisis is largely over, yet confidence in the ECB and EU...
Joint Economic Forecast
Joint Economic Forecast The joint economic forecast is an instrument for evaluating...
How Effective is Macroprudential Policy during Financial Downturns? Evidence from Caps on Banks' Leverage
Working Papers of Eesti Pank,
This paper investigates the effect of a macroprudential policy instrument, caps on banks' leverage, on domestic credit to the private sector since the Global Financial Crisis. Applying a difference-in-differences approach to a panel of 69 advanced and emerging economies over 2002–2014, we show that real credit grew after the crisis at considerably higher rates in countries which had implemented the leverage cap prior to the crisis. This stabilising effect is more pronounced for countries in which banks had a higher pre-crisis capital ratio, which suggests that after the crisis, banks were able to draw on buffers built up prior to the crisis due to the regulation. The results are robust to different choices of subsamples as well as to competing explanations such as standard adjustment to the pre-crisis credit boom.
Sovereign Credit Risk, Banks' Government Support, and Bank Stock Returns around the World: Discussion of Correa, Lee, Sapriza, and Suarez
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Vol. 46 (s1),
In the years leading up to the 2008–09 financial crisis, many banks around the world greatly expanded their balance sheets to take advantage of cheap and abundantly available funding. Access to international funding markets, in particular, made it possible for banks to reach a size that in some cases was a large multiple of their home countries’ gross domestic product (GDP). In Iceland, for example, assets of the banking system reached up to 900% of GDP in 2007. Similarly, by the end of 2008, assets in UK and Swiss banks exceeded 500% of their countries’ GDPs, respectively. Banks may also have grown rapidly because they may have wanted to reach too-big-to-fail status in their country, implying even lower funding cost (Penas and Unal 2004).
The depth and severity of the 2008–09 financial crisis and the subsequent debt crisis in Europe, however, have cast doubts on the ability of governments to bail out banks when they experience severe difficulties, in particular, in financially fragile environments and faced with large budget imbalances. This has resulted in as what some observers have dubbed a “doom loop”: the combination of weak public finances and weak banks results in a vicious cycle, in which the funding cost of banks increases, as the ability of governments to bail out banks is called into question, in turn increasing the funding cost of these banks and making the likelihood that the government will actually have to step in even higher, which in turn increases funding cost to the government and so forth.
Against this background, the paper by Correa et al. (2014) explores the link between sovereign rating changes and bank stock returns. They show large negative reactions of stock returns in response to sovereign ratings downgrades for banks that are expected to receive government support in case of failure. They find the strongest effects in developed economies, where the credibility of government bail outs is higher ex ante, while the effects are smaller in developing and emerging economies. In my view, the paper makes a number of important contributions to the extant literature.
Big Banks and Macroeconomic Outcomes: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence of Granularity
NBER Working Paper No. 19093,
Does the mere presence of big banks affect macroeconomic outcomes? In this paper, we develop a theory of granularity (Gabaix, 2011) for the banking sector, introducing Bertrand competition and heterogeneous banks charging variable markups. Using this framework, we show conditions under which idiosyncratic shocks to bank lending can generate aggregate fluctuations in the credit supply when the banking sector is highly concentrated. We empirically assess the relevance of these granular effects in banking using a linked micro-macro dataset of more than 80 countries for the years 1995-2009. The banking sector for many countries is indeed granular, as the right tail of the bank size distribution follows a power law. We then demonstrate granular effects in the banking sector on macroeconomic outcomes. The presence of big banks measured by high market concentration is associated with a positive and significant relationship between bank-level credit growth and aggregate growth of credit or gross domestic product.
Foreign Bank Entry, Credit Allocation and Lending Rates in Emerging Markets: Empirical Evidence from Poland
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Earlier studies have documented that foreign banks charge lower lending rates and interest spreads than domestic banks. We hypothesize that this may stem from the superior efficiency of foreign entrants that they decide to pass onto borrowers (“performance hypothesis”), but could also reflect a different loan allocation with respect to borrower transparency, loan maturity and currency (“portfolio composition hypothesis”). We are able to differentiate between the above hypotheses thanks to a novel dataset containing detailed bank-specific information for the Polish banking industry. Our findings demonstrate that banks differ significantly in terms of portfolio composition and we attest to the “portfolio composition hypothesis” by showing that, having controlled for portfolio composition, there are no differences in lending rates between banks.
Global Financial Crisis Seriously Hits Russian Economy Because of Structural Imbalances
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Due to the falling global demand for commodities and the heavy decline of world oil prices in last summer, Russian economy was affected seriously. The following decrease in export revenues and a wave of short-term capital withdrawals led to a crash of Russian stock and capital markets and a deterioration of the economic situation at the end of the previous year. The government decided to stabilize the exchange rate of the Rouble by interventions and to support the domestic banking sector in order to maintain credit availability. In respect of the approaching recession, the parliament approved an economic stimulus package that would help to stabilize the economy and to avoid too strong social burdens for the households. Nevertheless, there is a strong weakening of economic growth because of the economy’s dependency from oil prices and the lack of alternatives up to now.
Crisis Contagion in Central and Eastern Europe
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The global financial crisis reached the Central and Eastern European region. Fears of a recession are spreading among investors in Russia and the Ukraine due to the heavy decline of oil and steel prices and provoked a first wave of short-term capital withdrawals. The export sector of all countries in the region is affected by weakening global demand. Finally, the financial sector, which is dominated by international banks in almost all countries, appears as the contagion channel for risk adjustments of mother banks. The combined impact of all these causes and channels lead to a proliferation of restrictions in credit and money supply and an outflow of investment capital. A strong weakening of economic growth is on the way in the region, and a long-lasting recession seems possible in some countries, in first line in the Baltic countries. It becomes a superior task of governments to ease the length and depth of the approaching recession by a strong fiscal stimulus. A continuation of the present policy of fiscal consolidation or of nominal convergence toward a quick adoption of the Euro does not seem very advisable. If governments decided to support domestic demand, measures should be taken to strengthening of a genuinely domestic banking sector in order to maintain credit availability.