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Mr. Atilla Arda and Mr. Marc C Dobler
This paper argues that in the European Union (EU) deposit insurance funds are too difficult to use in bank resolution and too easy to use outside resolution. The paper proposes reforms in three areas for the effective management of bank failures of small and medium-sized banks in the European Union: making resolution the norm for dealing with failing banks; establishing a common DIS for the European Union; and increasing funding and backstops for deposit insurance while removing constraints on their use for resolution measures. Without these changes, the European Union will continue to be challenged by banks that are too small for resolution and too large for liquidation.
Sharjil M. Haque
We study the impact of the COVID-19 recession on capital structure of publicly listed U.S. firms. Our estimates suggest leverage (Net Debt/Asset) decreased by 5.3 percentage points from the pre-shock mean of 19.6 percent, while debt maturity increased moderately. This de-leveraging effect is stronger for firms exposed to significant rollover risk, while firms whose businesses were most vulnerable to social distancing did not reduce leverage. We rationalize our evidence through a structural model of firm value that shows lower expected growth rate and higher volatility of cash flows following COVID-19 reduced optimal levels of corporate leverage. Model-implied optimal leverage indicates firms which did not de-lever became over-leveraged. We find default probability deteriorates most in large, over-leveraged firms and those that were stressed pre-COVID. Additional stress tests predict value of these firms will be less than one standard deviation away from default if cash flows decline by 20 percent.
Ms. Ruo Chen
The Dutch economy is characterized by substantial financial balance sheets in the private sector. Uncommonly large gross financial assets and liabilities are found in the financial sector, whereas households own significant net financial wealth. The large gross financial assets and liabilities reflect a dominant role of multinational corporations (MNCs). Despite their size, these financial positions have not brought significant financial stability risks to the country. On the other hand, Dutch households’ long balance sheets have been associated with depressed consumption and volatile real estate investment, which has probably exacerbated the cyclicality of the economy. The expected reform of the pension system is likely to change the way household balance sheets interact with private consumption.
Mr. Dmitry Gershenson, Frederic Lambert, Luis Herrera, Grey Ramos, Mrs. Marina V Rousset, and Jose Torres
Despite some improvement since 2011, Latin America and the Caribbean continue to lag behind other regions in terms of financial inclusion. There is no clear evidence that fintech developments have supported greater financial inclusion in LAC, contrary to what has been observed elsewhere in the world. Case studies by national policy experts suggest that barriers to entry in the financial sector, along with a constraining regulatory environment, may have hindered a faster adoption of fintech. However, fintech development seems to have accelerated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the support of recent policy initiatives.
Marlon Rawlins and Ms. Luisa Zanforlin
Policymakers across countries have been seeking to strengthen the institutional framework to control fiscal costs and feedback effects to the real economy generated by bank failures. On a cross-section of countries, we find evidence that suggests that bank supervisors’ intervention in bank failures may be positively associated with some aspects of the administrative and regulatory framework. Our results appear to hold also during times of financial instability. Finally, we find some evidence that the same institutional features may be associated with lower fiscal outlays during banking crises.