Fiscal Policy and Fiscal Fragility: Empirical Evidence from the OECD ...
Private Benefits of Control and Bank Loan Contracts
Journal of Corporate Finance,
This paper investigates whether or not private benefits of control by managers and large shareholders influence the financing cost of firms. Evidence shows that lending banks demand a significantly higher loan spread, higher fees, shorter loan maturity, smaller loan size, stricter covenants, and greater collateral on firms with greater private benefits of control. Results are stronger for firms with weak corporate governance quality, supporting the agency cost viewpoint. Such evidence implies that banks consider higher private benefits of control as a type of agency problem when they make lending decisions.
Sovereign Stress, Banking Stress, and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism in the Euro Area
IWH Discussion Papers,
In this paper, we investigate to what extent sovereign stress and banking stress have contributed to the increase in the level and in the heterogeneity of non-financial firms’ financing costs in the Euro area during the European debt crisis and how both have affected the monetary transmission mechanism. Employing a large firm-level data set containing two million observations, we are able to identify the effect of government bond yield spreads (sovereign stress) and the share of non-performing loans (banking stress) on firms‘ financing costs in a panel model by assuming that idiosyncratic shocks to individual firms are uncorrelated with country-specific variables. We find that the two sources of stress have increased firms’ financing costs controlling for country and firm-specific factors. Moreover, we estimate both to have significantly impaired the monetary transmission mechanism.
Can Lenders Discern Managerial Ability from Luck? Evidence from Bank Loan Contracts
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We investigate the effect of managerial ability versus luck on bank loan contracting. Borrowers showing a persistently superior managerial ability over previous years (more likely due to ability) enjoy a lower loan spread, while borrowers showing a temporary superior managerial ability (more likely due to luck) do not enjoy any spread reduction. This finding suggests that banks can discern ability from luck when pricing a loan. Firms with high-ability managers are more likely to continue their prior lower loan spread. The spread-reduction effect of managerial ability is stronger for firms with weak governance structures or poor stakeholder relationships, corroborating the notion that better managerial ability alleviates borrowers’ agency and information risks. We also find that well governed banks are better able to price governance into their borrowers’ loans, which helps explain why good governance enhances bank value.
Bank Market Power and Loan Contracts: Empirical Evidence
Using a sample of syndicated loan facilities granted to US corporate borrowers from 1987 to 2013, we directly gauge the lead banks’ market power, and test its effects on both price and non‐price terms in loan contracts. We find that bank market power is positively correlated with loan spreads, and the positive relation holds for both non‐relationship loans and relationship loans. In particular, we report that, for relationship loans, lending banks charge lower loan price for borrowing firms with lower switching cost. We further employ a framework accommodating the joint determination of loan contractual terms, and document that the lead banks’ market power is positively correlated with collateral and negatively correlated with loan maturity. In addition, we report a significant and negative relationship between banking power and the number of covenants in loan contracts, and the negative relationship is stronger for relationship loans.
Mind the Gap: The Difference Between U.S. and European Loan Rates
Review of Financial Studies,
We analyze pricing differences between U.S. and European syndicated loans over the 1992–2014 period. We explicitly distinguish credit lines from term loans. For credit lines, U.S. borrowers pay significantly higher spreads, but lower fees, resulting in similar total costs of borrowing in both markets. Credit line usage is more cyclical in the United States, which provides a rationale for the pricing structure difference. For term loans, we analyze the channels of the cross-country loan price differential and document the importance of: the composition of term loan borrowers and the loan supply by institutional investors and foreign banks.
02.09.2016 • 35/2016
The German Economy: Still Robust Despite Sliding Sentiment
The prospects for the German economy are still quite favorable. While sentiment indicators suggest that growth will slow at the end of the year, domestic demand will continue on an upward trend. The German GDP should increase by 1.9% in 2016. For 2017 we expect a lower growth rate of 1.2%“Weaker export volumes and higher growth of imports are the relevant factors for the slowdown”, says Prof Oliver Holtemöller, IWH Vice president. Unemployment will rise a bit as more refugees enter the labor market. Consumer price inflation remains moderate. The general government balance (cyclically ad¬justed as well as unadjusted) will be in surplus in both 2016 and 2017.
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24.09.2015 • 38/2015
German Households Benefit from Low Interest Environment
Calculations of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association show that the average household in Germany has benefited from the low policy rate environment. The average return on their portfolio was higher than in the pre-crisis period while at the same time, they benefited from lower interest on new loans. Households in Germany had a total Euro benefit of more than 364 billion Euro over a five-year period relative to 2003 to 2007. Increases in stock prices and real estate prices over-compensate lower interest rates on savings accounts, despite their relatively low share in households’ portfolios. There are benefits across the income distribution. Households that do not own real estate lost though, but their losses are very small at on average about 100 Euro per year.
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10.08.2015 • 30/2015
Germany Benefited Substantially from the Greek Crisis
The balanced budget in Germany is largely the result of lower interest payments due to the European debt crisis. Research from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows that the debt crisis resulted in a reduction in German bund rates of about 300 basis points (BP), yielding interest savings of more than EUR 100 billion (or more than 3% of gross domestic product, GDP) during the period 2010 to 2015. A significant part of this reduction is directly attributable to the Greek crisis. When discussing the costs to the German tax payer of saving Greece, these benefits should not be overlooked, as they tend to be larger than the expenses, even in a scenario where Greece does not repay any of its debts.
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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.