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Callum Jones and Mr. Pau Rabanal
We study the role that changes in credit and fiscal positions play in explaining current account fluctuations. Empirically, the current account declines when credit increases, and when the fiscal balance declines. We use a two-country model with financial frictions and fiscal policy to study these facts. We estimate the model using annual data for the U.S. and “a rest of the world” aggregate that includes main advanced economies. We find that about 30 percent of U.S. current account balance fluctuations are due to domestic credit shocks, while fiscal shocks explain about 14 percent. We evaluate simple macroprudential policy rules and show that they help reduce global imbalances. By taming the financial cycle, macroprudential rules that react to domestic credit conditions or to domestic house prices would have led to a smaller and less volatile U.S. current account deficit. We also show that a countercylical fiscal policy rule that stabilizes output growth reduces the level and volatility of the U.S. current account deficit.
Sophia Chen and Do Lee
We provide broad-based evidence of a firm size premium of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in Europe after the Global Financial Crisis. The TFP growth of smaller firms was more adversely affected and diverged from their larger counterparts after the crisis. The impact was progressively larger for medium, small, and micro firms relative to large firms. It was also disproportionally larger for firms with limited credit market access. Moreover, smaller firms were less likely to have access to safer banks: those that were better capitalized banks and with a presence in the credit default swap market. Horseraces suggest that firm size may be a more important and robust vulnerability indicator than balance sheet characteristics. Our results imply that the tightening of credit market conditions during the crisis, coupled with limited credit market access especially among micro, small, and medium firms, may have contributed to the large and persistent drop in aggregate TFP.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The April 2020 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) assesses the financial stability challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Chapter 1 describes how financial conditions tightened abrubtly with the onset of the pandemic, with risk asset prices dropping sharply as investors rushed to safety and liquidity. It finds that a further tightening of financial conditions may expose vulnerabilities, including among nonbank financial institutions, and that bank resilience may be tested if economic and financial market stresses rise. Vulnerabilities in global risky corporate credit markets, including weakened credit quality of borrowers, looser underwriting standards, liquidity risks at investment funds, and increased interconnectedness, could generate losses at nonbank financial institutions in a severe adverse scenario, as discussed in Chapter 2. The pandemic led to an unprecedented and sharp reversal of portfolio flows, highlighting the challenges of managing flows in emerging and frontier markets. Chapter 3 shows that global financial conditions tend to influence portfolio flows more during surges than in normal times, that stronger domestic fundamentals can help mitigate outflows, and that greater foreign participation in local currency bond markets may increase price volatility where domestic markets lack depth. Beyond the immediate challenges of COVID-19, Chapter 4 explores the profitability pressures that banks are likely to face over the medium term in an environment where low interest rates are expected to persist. Chapter 5 takes a broader perspective on physical risks associated with climate change. It finds that these risks do not appear to be reflected in global equity valuations and that stress testing and better disclosure of exposures to climatic hazards are essential to better assess physical risk.

Mr. Marco Arena, Tingyun Chen, Mr. Seung M Choi, Ms. Nan Geng, Cheikh A. Gueye, Mr. Tonny Lybek, Mr. Evan Papageorgiou, and Yuanyan Sophia Zhang
Macroprudential policy in Europe aligns with the objective of limiting systemic risk, namely the risk of widespread disruption to the provision of financial services that is caused by an impairment of all or parts of the financial system and that can cause serious negative consequences for the real economy.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note explains the stress testing approach of the 2016 Financial Sector Assessment Program in assessment of risk in the Swedish financial sector and provides the results of the tests. Stress tests covered three major segments of the domestic financial sector. The resilience of the Swedish banking system was tested against solvency, liquidity, and contagion risks. The solvency stress test suggests that banks would be resilient to severe economic distress. Bank liquidity stress tests suggest that banks could withstand severe funding and market liquidity shocks, but there are pockets of vulnerability. The overall stress testing exercise suggests that there is room for improvement in the individual components of authorities’ stress testing framework.
Mr. Heedon Kang, Mr. Francis Vitek, Ms. Rina Bhattacharya, Mr. Phakawa Jeasakul, Ms. Sònia Muñoz, Naixi Wang, and Rasool Zandvakil
This paper analyzes cross-border macrofinancial spillovers from a variety of macroprudential policy measures, using a range of quantitative methods. Event study and panel regression analyses find that liquidity and sectoral macroprudential policy measures often affect cross-border bank credit, whereas capital measures do not. This empirical evidence is stronger for tightening than for loosening measures, is distributed across credit leakage and reallocation effects, and is generally regionally concentrated. Consistently, structural model based simulation analysis indicates that output and bank credit spillovers from sectoral macroprudential policy shocks are generally small worldwide, but are regionally concentrated and economically significant for countries connected by strong trade or financial linkages. This simulation analysis also indicates that countercyclical capital buffer adjustments have the potential to generate sizeable regional spillovers.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents an overview of the financial deepening achievements and challenges in Peru. Although substantial progress has been made on various indicators of financial deepening, Peru lags regional and income peers in several respects. Peru’s overall financial development index is modest, and its stage of financial depth does not fully align with domestic fundamentals. Private credit to GDP at about 40 percent of GDP is one of the lowest in the region, and below the expected level for a country at Peru’s income and population. Studies also show that Peru has a negative gap in the depth and efficiency of financial institutions, which could reflect weak frameworks for obtaining or seizing collateral.