07.09.2023 • 23/2023
The German economy continues its downturn
High inflation, increased interest rates, weak foreign demand and uncertainty among private households and firms are currently weighing on the German economy. In its autumn forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 0.5% in 2023 and to increase by 0.9% in 2024.
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Political Ideology and International Capital Allocation
Journal of Financial Economics,
Does investors’ political ideology shape international capital allocation? We provide evidence from two settings—syndicated corporate loans and equity mutual funds—to show ideological alignment with foreign governments affects the cross-border capital allocation by U.S. institutional investors. Ideological alignment on both economic and social issues plays a role. Our empirical strategy ensures direct economic effects of foreign elections or government ties between countries are not driving the result. Ideological distance between countries also explains variation in bilateral investment. Combined, our findings imply ideological alignment is an important, omitted factor in models of international capital allocation.
COVID-19 Pandemic and Global Corporate CDS Spreads
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the credit risk of companies around the world. We find that increased infection rates affect firms more adversely as reflected by the wider increase in their credit default swap (CDS) spreads if they are larger, more leveraged, closer to default, have worse governance and more limited stakeholder engagement, and operate in more highly exposed industries. We observe that country-level determinants such as GDP, political stability, foreign direct investment, and commitment to crisis management (income support, health and lockdown policies) also affect the sensitivity of CDS spreads to COVID-19 infection rates. A negative amplification effect exists for firms with high default probability in countries with fiscal constraints. A direct comparison between global CDS and stock markets reveals that the CDS market prices in a distinct set of corporate traits and government policies in pandemic times.
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