Structural Reforms in Banking: The Role of Trading
Journal of Financial Regulation,
In the wake of the recent financial crisis, significant regulatory actions have been taken aimed at limiting risks emanating from banks’ trading activities. The goal of this article is to look at the alternative reforms in the US, the UK and the EU, specifically with respect to the role of proprietary trading. Our conclusions can be summarized as follows: First, the focus on a prohibition of proprietary trading, as reflected in the Volcker Rule in the US and in the current proposal of the European Commission (Barnier proposal), is inadequate. It does not necessarily reduce risk-taking and it is likely to crowd out desired trading activities, thereby possibly affecting financial stability negatively. Second, trading separation into legally distinct or ring-fenced entities within the existing banking organizations, as suggested under the Vickers proposal for the UK and the Liikanen proposal for the EU, is a more effective solution. Separation limits cross-subsidies between banking and proprietary trading and diminishes contagion risk, while still allowing for synergies and risk management across banking, non-proprietary trading, and proprietary trading.
The Impact of Firm and Industry Characteristics on Small Firms’ Capital Structure
Small Business Economics,
We study the impact of firm and industry characteristics on small firms’ capital structure, employing a proprietary database containing financial statements of Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 2003 to 2005. The firm characteristics suggest that the capital structure decision is consistent with the pecking-order theory: Dutch SMEs use profits to reduce their debt level, and growing firms increase their debt position since they need more funds. We further document that profits reduce in particular short-term debt, whereas growth increases long-term debt. We also find that inter- and intra-industry effects are important in explaining small firms’ capital structure. Industries exhibit different average debt levels, which is in line with the trade-off theory. Furthermore, there is substantial intra-industry heterogeneity, showing that the degree of industry competition, the degree of agency conflicts, and the heterogeneity in employed technology are also important drivers of capital structure.
Corporate Governance in the Multinational Enterprise: A Financial Contracting Perspective
International Business Review,
The aim of this paper is to bring economics-based finance research more into the focus of international business theory. On the basis of an analytical model that introduces financial constraints into incomplete contracting in an international vertical trade relationship, we propose an integrated framework that facilitates the study of the interdependencies between internalisation decisions, firm-internal allocations of control rights, and the debt capacity of firms. We argue that the financial constraint of an MNE and/or its supplier should be considered as an important determinant of internal governance structures, complementary to, and interacting with, institutional factors and proprietary knowledge.