Deposit Competition and the Securitisation Boom
IWH Discussion Papers,
We provide novel evidence that regulatory-induced deposit market competition provoked banks to enter the securitisation market. Exploiting the state-specific removal of interstate bank branching restrictions across U.S states between 1994 and 2006 as an exogenous source of deposit competition, we document four key results. First, the interstate branching deregulation leads to an intensification of deposit market competition. Second, this rise in the cost of deposits increases the probability that a bank operates an ‘originate-to-distribute’ model by 6%. Third, the securitisation effect holds across bank asset classes but is most pronounced for mortgages. Finally, the results are strongest among small and single state banks owing to their reliance on deposit funding. The evidence is consistent with theories where increasing the cost of deposits creates incentives for banks to use securitisation as a cheaper loan funding model. The findings highlight a hitherto neglected supply-side explanation for the rapid expansion in securitisation before the financial crisis and speak to the debate about banking competition policy.
Cross-border Transmission of Emergency Liquidity
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We show that emergency liquidity provision by the Federal Reserve transmitted to non-U.S. banking markets. Based on manually collected holding company structures, we identify banks in Germany with access to U.S. facilities. Using detailed interest rate data reported to the German central bank, we compare lending and borrowing rates of banks with and without such access. U.S. liquidity shocks cause a significant decrease in the short-term funding costs of the average German bank with access. This reduction is mitigated for banks with more vulnerable balance sheets prior to the inception of emergency liquidity. We also find a significant pass-through in terms of lower corporate credit rates charged for banks with the lowest pre-crisis leverage, US-dollar funding needs, and liquidity buffers. Spillover effects from U.S. emergency liquidity provision are generally confined to short-term rates.
Borrowers Under Water! Rare Disasters, Regional Banks, and Recovery Lending ...
Lend Global, Fund Local? Price and Funding Cost Margins in Multinational Banking
Review of Finance,
In a proposed model of a multinational bank, interest margins determine local lending by foreign affiliates and the internal funding by parent banks. We exploit detailed parent-affiliate-level data of all German banks to empirically test our theoretical predictions in pre-crisis times. Local lending by affiliates depends negatively on price margins, the difference between lending and deposit rates in foreign markets. The effect of funding cost margins, the gap between local deposit rates faced by affiliates abroad and the funding costs of their parents, on internal capital market funding is positive but statistically weak. Interest margins are central to explain the interaction between internal capital markets and foreign affiliates lending.
The Forward-looking Disclosures of Corporate Managers: Theory and Evidence
IWH Discussion Papers,
We consider an infinitely repeated game in which a privately informed, long-lived manager raises funds from short-lived investors in order to finance a project. The manager can signal project quality to investors by making a (possibly costly) forward-looking disclosure about her project’s potential for success. We find that if the manager’s disclosures are costly, she will never release forward-looking statements that do not convey information to external investors. Furthermore, managers of firms that are transparent and face significant disclosure-related costs will refrain from forward-looking disclosures. In contrast, managers of opaque and profitable firms will follow a policy of accurate disclosures. To test our findings empirically, we devise an index that captures the quantity of forward-looking disclosures in public firms’ 10-K reports, and relate it to multiple firm characteristics. For opaque firms, our index is positively correlated with a firm’s profitability and financing needs. For transparent firms, there is only a weak relation between our index and firm fundamentals. Furthermore, the overall level of forward-looking disclosures declined significantly between 2001 and 2009, possibly as a result of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Time-varying Volatility, Financial Intermediation and Monetary Policy
IWH Discussion Papers,
We document that expansionary monetary policy shocks are less effective at stimulating output and investment in periods of high volatility compared to periods of low volatility, using a regime-switching vector autoregression. Exogenous policy changes are identified by adapting an external instruments approach to the non-linear model. The lower effectiveness of monetary policy can be linked to weaker responses of credit costs, suggesting a financial accelerator mechanism that is weaker in high volatility periods. To rationalize our robust empirical results, we use a macroeconomic model in which financial intermediaries endogenously choose their capital structure. In the model, the leverage choice of banks depends on the volatility of aggregate shocks. In low volatility periods, financial intermediaries lever up, which makes their balance sheets more sensitive to aggregate shocks and the financial accelerator more effective. On the contrary, in high volatility periods, banks decrease leverage, which renders the financial accelerator less effective; this in turn decreases the ability of monetary policy to improve funding conditions and credit supply, and thereby to stimulate the economy. Hence, we provide a novel explanation for the non-linear effects of monetary stimuli observed in the data, linking the effectiveness of monetary policy to the procyclicality of leverage.
Sovereign Credit Risk, Banks' Government Support, and Bank Stock Returns around the World: Discussion of Correa, Lee, Sapriza, and Suarez
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
In the years leading up to the 2008–09 financial crisis, many banks around the world greatly expanded their balance sheets to take advantage of cheap and abundantly available funding. Access to international funding markets, in particular, made it possible for banks to reach a size that in some cases was a large multiple of their home countries’ gross domestic product (GDP). In Iceland, for example, assets of the banking system reached up to 900% of GDP in 2007. Similarly, by the end of 2008, assets in UK and Swiss banks exceeded 500% of their countries’ GDPs, respectively. Banks may also have grown rapidly because they may have wanted to reach too-big-to-fail status in their country, implying even lower funding cost (Penas and Unal 2004).
The depth and severity of the 2008–09 financial crisis and the subsequent debt crisis in Europe, however, have cast doubts on the ability of governments to bail out banks when they experience severe difficulties, in particular, in financially fragile environments and faced with large budget imbalances. This has resulted in as what some observers have dubbed a “doom loop”: the combination of weak public finances and weak banks results in a vicious cycle, in which the funding cost of banks increases, as the ability of governments to bail out banks is called into question, in turn increasing the funding cost of these banks and making the likelihood that the government will actually have to step in even higher, which in turn increases funding cost to the government and so forth.
Against this background, the paper by Correa et al. (2014) explores the link between sovereign rating changes and bank stock returns. They show large negative reactions of stock returns in response to sovereign ratings downgrades for banks that are expected to receive government support in case of failure. They find the strongest effects in developed economies, where the credibility of government bail outs is higher ex ante, while the effects are smaller in developing and emerging economies. In my view, the paper makes a number of important contributions to the extant literature.
The Role of Uncertainty in the Euro Crisis - A Reconsideration of Liquidity Preference Theory
Journal of Post Keynesian Economics,
With the world financial crisis came the rediscovery of the active role fiscal policy could play in remedying the situation. More recently, the Euro Crisis, with its mounting funding costs facing governments of a number of Southern EU member states and Ireland, has called this strategy into question. Opposing this view, the main point of this contribution is to elaborate on the link between rising sovereign risk premia in the Eurozone and a major feature of the financial crisis - elevated uncertainty after the Lehman collapse. Theoretically, this link is developed with reference to Keynes' liquidity preference theory. The high explanatory power of rising uncertainty in financial markets and the detrimental effects of fiscal austerity on the evolution of sovereign risk spreads are demonstrated empirically by means of panel regressions and supplementary correlation analyses.
The Role of Securitization in Bank Liquidity and Funding Management
Journal of Financial Economics,
This paper studies the role of securitization in bank management. I propose a new index of “bank loan portfolio liquidity” which can be thought of as a weighted average of the potential to securitize loans of a given type, where the weights reflect the composition of a bank loan portfolio. I use this new index to show that by allowing banks to convert illiquid loans into liquid funds, securitization reduces banks' holdings of liquid securities and increases their lending ability. Furthermore, securitization provides banks with an additional source of funding and makes bank lending less sensitive to cost of funds shocks. By extension, the securitization weakens the ability of the monetary authority to affect banks' lending activity but makes banks more susceptible to liquidity and funding crisis when the securitization market is shut down.