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Tobias Adrian, Nassira Abbas, Silvia Ramirez, and Gonzalo Fernandez Dionis
Tobias Adrian, Nassira Abbas, Silvia Ramirez, and Gonzalo Fernandez Dionis
In March 2023, the US banking sector turmoil sent a shockwave through the global financial system. Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the 16th largest bank in the country, collapsed in a matter of days, followed by Signature Bank (SBNY) and First Republic Bank (FRB), marking the largest bank failures after Washington Mutual Bank in 2008. Triggered by sizable deposit outflows, this event raised concerns about the soundness of the rest of the US banking sector, in particular, other banks of similar or smaller size with large amounts of uninsured deposits, unrealized losses, and commercial real estate exposures. The March turmoil is a powerful reminder of the challenges posed by the interaction between tighter monetary and financial conditions and the buildup in vulnerabilities—challenges amplified by ineffective interest, liquidity, and credit risk management practices at some banks. This note offers an analysis of the main attributes of the affected banks to assess the extent to which vulnerabilities persist in a weak tail of banks . Furthermore, the note provides a prospective assessment by evaluating the medium-term risks to financial stability posed by this weak tail.
Tobias Adrian, Nassira Abbas, Silvia Ramirez, and Gonzalo Fernandez Dionis

In March 2023, the US banking sector turmoil sent a shockwave through the global financial system. Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the 16th largest bank in the country, collapsed in a matter of days, followed by Signature Bank (SBNY) and First Republic Bank (FRB), marking the largest bank failures after Washington Mutual Bank in 2008. Triggered by sizable deposit outflows, this event raised concerns about the soundness of the rest of the US banking sector, in particular, other banks of similar or smaller size with large amounts of uninsured deposits, unrealized losses, and commercial real estate exposures. The March turmoil is a powerful reminder of the challenges posed by the interaction between tighter monetary and financial conditions and the buildup in vulnerabilities—challenges amplified by ineffective interest, liquidity, and credit risk management practices at some banks. This note offers an analysis of the main attributes of the affected banks to assess the extent to which vulnerabilities persist in a weak tail of banks . Furthermore, the note provides a prospective assessment by evaluating the medium-term risks to financial stability posed by this weak tail.

Fabio Cortes, Mohamed Diaby, and Peter Windsor
Fabio Cortes, Mohamed Diaby, and Peter Windsor
This Global Financial Stability Note studies the growing trend of private equity (PE) investments into the life insurance industry. PE companies’ investments in life insurers are integral to their strategic growth as PE firms evolve beyond the traditional leveraged buyout transaction to acquire diverse businesses across private credit, structured credit, private real estate funds, and private infrastructure funds. This note reviews the growth in PE investments through the lens of the diverse acquisition incentives and strategies, the consequent changes to asset allocation and investment strategies of the acquired life businesses, and potential prudential and policy implications.
Fabio Cortes, Mohamed Diaby, and Peter Windsor

This Global Financial Stability Note studies the growing trend of private equity (PE) investments into the life insurance industry. PE companies’ investments in life insurers are integral to their strategic growth as PE firms evolve beyond the traditional leveraged buyout transaction to acquire diverse businesses across private credit, structured credit, private real estate funds, and private infrastructure funds. This note reviews the growth in PE investments through the lens of the diverse acquisition incentives and strategies, the consequent changes to asset allocation and investment strategies of the acquired life businesses, and potential prudential and policy implications.

Andrea Deghi, Mr. Fabio M Natalucci, and Mahvash S Qureshi

After dropping sharply in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial real estate prices are on the mend. However, the initial price decline, as well as the pace of recovery, vary widely across regions and different segments of the commercial real estate market. This note analyzes the factors that explain this divergence using city-level data from major advanced and emerging market economies. The findings show that pandemic-specific factors such as the stringency of containment measures and the spread of the virus are strongly associated with a decline in prices, while fiscal support and easy financial conditions maintained by central banks have helped to cushion the shock. A higher vaccination rate has aided the recovery of the sector, especially in the retail segment. Structural changes in private behavior such as the trend toward teleworking and e-commerce have also had an impact on commercial property prices in some segments. The outlook of the sector across regions thus remains closely tied to the trajectory of the pandemic and broader macroeconomic recovery, financial market conditions, and the pace of structural shifts in the demand for specific property types. In an environment of tightening financial conditions and a slowdown in economic activity, continued vigilance is warranted on the part of financial supervisors to minimize financial stability risks stemming from potential adverse shocks to the sector.

Andrea Deghi, Mr. Fabio M Natalucci, and Mahvash S Qureshi
Andrea Deghi, Mr. Fabio M Natalucci, and Mahvash S Qureshi
After dropping sharply in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial real estate prices are on the mend. However, the initial price decline, as well as the pace of recovery, vary widely across regions and different segments of the commercial real estate market. This note analyzes the factors that explain this divergence using city-level data from major advanced and emerging market economies. The findings show that pandemic-specific factors such as the stringency of containment measures and the spread of the virus are strongly associated with a decline in prices, while fiscal support and easy financial conditions maintained by central banks have helped to cushion the shock. A higher vaccination rate has aided the recovery of the sector, especially in the retail segment. Structural changes in private behavior such as the trend toward teleworking and e-commerce have also had an impact on commercial property prices in some segments. The outlook of the sector across regions thus remains closely tied to the trajectory of the pandemic and broader macroeconomic recovery, financial market conditions, and the pace of structural shifts in the demand for specific property types. In an environment of tightening financial conditions and a slowdown in economic activity, continued vigilance is warranted on the part of financial supervisors to minimize financial stability risks stemming from potential adverse shocks to the sector.
Tara Iyer