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Will Kerry
This paper measures the performance of different metrics in assessing banking system vulnerabilities. It finds that metrics based on equity market valuations of bank capital are better than regulatory capital ratios, and other metrics, in spotting banks that failed (bad apples). This paper proposes that these market-based ratios could be used as a surveillance tool to assess vulnerabilities in the banking sector. While the measures may provide a somewhat fuzzy signal, it is better to have a strategy for identifying bad apples, even if sometimes the apples turn out to be fine, than not being able to spot any bad apples before the barrel has been spoiled.
Yener Altunbas, Michiel van Leuvensteijn, and Tianshu Zhao
We examine how bank competition in the run-up to the 2007–2009 crisis affects banks’ systemic risk during the crisis. We then investigate whether this effect is influenced by two key bank characteristics: securitization and bank capital. Using a sample of the largest listed banks from 15 countries, we find that greater market power at the bank level and higher competition at the industry level lead to higher realized systemic risk. The results suggest that the use of securitization exacerbates the effects of market power on the systemic dimension of bank risk, while capitalization partially mitigates its impact.
Mariusz Jarmuzek and Mr. Tonny Lybek
This paper argues that better governance practices can reduce the costs, risks and uncertainty of financial intermediation. Our sample covers high-, middle- and low-income countries before and after the global financial crisis (GFC). We find that net interest margins of banks are lower if various governance indicators are better. More cross-border lending also appears conducive to lower intermediation costs, while the level of capital market development is not significant. The GFC seems not to have had a strong impact except via credit risk. Finally, we estimate the size of potential gains from improved governance.
Jihad Dagher
Financial crises are traditionally analyzed as purely economic phenomena. The political economy of financial booms and busts remains both under-emphasized and limited to isolated episodes. This paper examines the political economy of financial policy during ten of the most infamous financial booms and busts since the 18th century, and presents consistent evidence of pro-cyclical regulatory policies by governments. Financial booms, and risk-taking during these episodes, were often amplified by political regulatory stimuli, credit subsidies, and an increasing light-touch approach to financial supervision. The regulatory backlash that ensues from financial crises can only be understood in the context of the deep political ramifications of these crises. Post-crisis regulations do not always survive the following boom. The interplay between politics and financial policy over these cycles deserves further attention. History suggests that politics can be the undoing of macro-prudential regulations.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper first takes a historical perspective, studying the implications of the oil boom of the 2000s on industry structure and economy-wide productivity. It then examines progress with the ongoing transition thus far both in the real sector and in the labor market, bearing in mind the short time span that has passed. This paper also explores two possible explanations for lagging productivity—namely, product market regulation and the low level of research and innovation. An extensive data set of mainland Norwegian firms is used to empirically assess the potential productivity gains from product market reforms as well as increasing research and development spending.
Mr. Stijn Claessens and Ms. Laura E. Kodres
We identify current challenges for creating stable, yet efficient financial systems using lessons from recent and past crises. Reforms need to start from three tenets: adopting a system-wide perspective explicitly aimed at addressing market failures; understanding and incorporating into regulations agents’ incentives so as to align them better with societies’ goals; and acknowledging that risks of crises will always remain, in part due to (unknown) unknowns – be they tipping points, fault lines, or spillovers. Corresponding to these three tenets, specific areas for further reforms are identified. Policy makers need to resist, however, fine-tuning regulations: a “do not harm” approach is often preferable. And as risks will remain, crisis management needs to be made an integral part of system design, not relegated to improvisation after the fact.
Jochen M. Schmittmann
For a sample of 83 financial institutions during 2003–2011, this paper attempts to answer three questions: first, what is the evolution of banks’ stock price exposure to country-level and global risk factors as approximated by equity indices; second, which bank-specific characteristics explain these risk exposures; third, are there clusters of banks with equity price linkages beyond market risk factors. The paper finds a rise in sensitivities to both country and global risk factors in 2011, although on average to levels still below those of the subprime crisis. The average sensitivity to European risk, specifically, has been steadily rising since 2008. Banks that are reliant on wholesale funding, have weaker capital levels and low valuations, and higher exposures to crisis countries are found to be the most vulnerable to shocks. The analysis of bank-to-bank linkages suggests that any “globalization” of the euro area crisis is likely to be channelled through U.K. and U.S. banks, with little evidence of direct spillover effects to other regions.
Miss Yinqiu Lu
Since the start of the 2008 - 09 financial crisis, the Polish Overnight Index Average (POLONIA) has persistently been below the policy rate, suggesting a limited influence of the NBP’s open market operations on the short-term interbank rate. In this regard, this paper analyzes the behavior of the POLONIA spread and explore several potential factors that could influence the spread. An empirical analysis confirms that the negative POLONIA spread is related to a few factors, which include the existence of the structural liquidity in the banking system; bank’s unwillingness to lock up liquidity in the NBP bills; the frontloading of banks’ fulfillment of the reserve requirements; and external market sentiment. The analysis also shows the effectiveness of the NBP’s responses to the financial crisis and structural liquidity surplus.
Miss Sonali Das and Mr. Amadou N Sy
We study how investors account for the riskiness of banks' risk-weighted assets (RWA) by examining the determinants of stock returns and market measures of risk. We find that banks with higher RWA had lower stock returns over the US and European crises. This relationship is weaker in Europe where banks can use Basel II internal risk models. For large banks, investors paid less attention to RWA and rewarded instead lower wholesale funding and better asset quality. RWA do not, in general, predict market measures of risk although there is evidence of a positive relationship before the US crisis which becomes negative afterwards.