The Effect of the Iraq War on Foreign Bank Lending to the MENA Region
This paper examines whether a large geopolitical event, such as the war in Iraq, can affect foreign bank lending from developed countries to emerging markets. Using country-level data, the paper analyzes the effects of economic shocks and the Iraq war on the availability of foreign bank credit to five countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The war has had a nonuniform effect on foreign banks: Although the war has led to higher U.S. lending, it has also discouraged British and Italian banks from lending to the region. Implications concerning the stability and reliability of foreign bank credit in the face of increased geopolitical risks are identified and discussed.