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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.
Deniz Anginer, Mr. Eugenio M Cerutti, and Mr. Maria Soledad Martinez Peria
This paper examines the association between the default risk of foreign bank subsidiaries in developing countries and their parents during the global financial crisis, with the purpose of determining the size and sign of this correlation and, more importantly, understanding what factors can help insulate affiliates from their parents. We find evidence of a significant and robust positive correlation between parent banks’ and foreign subsidiaries’ default risk. This correlation is lower for subsidiaries that have a higher share of retail deposit funding and that are more independently managed from their parents. Host country bank regulations also influence the extent to which shocks to the parents affect the subsidiaries’ default risk. In particular, the correlation between the default risk of subsidiaries and their parents is lower for subsidiaries operating in countries that impose higher capital, reserve, provisioning, and disclosure requirements, and tougher restrictions on bank activities.
Ouarda Merrouche, Ms. Enrica Detragiache, and Asli Demirgüç-Kunt
Using a multi-country panel of banks, we study whether better capitalized banks experienced higher stock returns during the financial crisis. We differentiate among various types of capital ratios: the Basel risk-adjusted ratio; the leverage ratio; the Tier I and Tier II ratios; and the tangible equity ratio. We find several results: (i) before the crisis, differences in capital did not have much impact on stock returns; (ii) during the crisis, a stronger capital position was associated with better stock market performance, most markedly for larger banks; (iii) the relationship between stock returns and capital is stronger when capital is measured by the leverage ratio rather than the risk-adjusted capital ratio; (iv) higher quality forms of capital, such as Tier 1 capital and tangible common equity, were more relevant.
International Monetary Fund
This note assesses the risk profile of the nonfinancial equity investments of Spanish credit institutions (CIs), based on a market-risk approach. It assesses the main features of the situation and indicates the problems of CIs’ nonfinancial equity investments. It presents the evolution of nonfinancial equity investments, and their importance for the economy. It analyzes using the value-at-risk (VaR) approach and recommends enhancing of risk management practices and surveillance with regard to CIs with a significant nonfinancial equity investment, and encourages those CIs to adopt the market-based approach.