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.
Do Better Capitalized Banks Lend Less? Long-run Panel Evidence from Germany
Higher capital features prominently in proposals for regulatory reform. But how does increased bank capital affect business loans? The real costs of increased bank capital in terms of reduced loans are widely believed to be substantial. But the negative real-sector implications need not be severe. In this paper, we take a long-run perspective by analysing the link between the capitalization of the banking sector and bank loans using panel cointegration models. We study the evolution of the German economy for the past 44 years. Higher bank capital tends to be associated with higher business loan volume, and we find no evidence for a negative effect. This result holds both for pooled regressions as well as for the individual banking groups in Germany.
Do Government Owned Banks Trade Market Power for Slack?
The ‘Quiet Life Hypothesis (QLH)’ posits that banks with market power have less incentives to maximize revenues and minimize cost. Especially government owned banks with a public mandate precluding profit maximization might succumb to a quiet life. We use a unified approach that simultaneously measures market power and efficiency to test the quiet life hypothesis of German savings banks. We find that average local market power declined between 1996 and 2006. Cost and profit efficiency remained constant. Nonparametric correlations are consistent with a quiet life regarding cost efficiency but not regarding profit efficiency. The quiet life on the cost side is negatively correlated with bank size, quality of loan portfolio and local per capita income. The last result indicates that the quiet cost life is therefore potentially due to benevolent excess consumption of local input factors by public savings banks.
The Role of Investment Banking for the German Economy: Final Report for Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt/Main
ZEW-Dokumentationen, Nr. 12-01,
The aim of this study is to assess the contributions of investment banking to the economy with a particular focus on the German economy. To this end we analyse both the economic benefits and the costs stemming from investment banking.
The study focuses on investment banks as this part of banking is particularly relevant for financing companies as well as the development and use of specific products to support the needs of private and professional clients. The assessment of benefits and costs of investment banking has been conducted from a European perspective. Nevertheless there is a focus on the German economy to allow a more detailed analysis of certain aspects as for example the use of derivatives by German companies, the success of M&As in Germany or the effect of securitization on loan supply and GDP in Germany. For comparison purposes other European countries and also the U.S. have been taken into account.
The last financial crisis has shown the negative impacts of banks on the financial system and the whole economy. In a study on the contribution of investment banks to systemic risk we quantify the negative side of the investment banking business.
In the last part of the study we assess how the effects of regulatory changes on investment banking. All important changes in banking and capital market regulation are taken into account such as Basel III, additional capital requirements for systemically important financial institutions, regulation of OTC derivatives and specific taxes.