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Pierpaolo Grippa and Samuel Mann
This paper explores three possible transmission channels for transition risk shocks to the financial system in Norway. First, we estimate the direct firm-level impact of a substantial increase in domestic carbon prices under severe assumptions. Second, we map the impact of a drastic increase in global carbon prices on the domestic economy via the Norwegian oil sector. Third, we model the impact of a forced reduction in Norwegian oil firms’ output on shareholder portfolios. Results show that such a sharp increase in carbon prices would have a significant but manageable impact on banks. Finally, the paper discusses ways to advance the still evolving field of transition risk stress testing.
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.
Mariusz Jarmuzek and Rossen Rozenov
Nonfinancial private sector debt increased significantly in advanced economies prior to the global financial crisis and, with a few exceptions, deleveraging has been limited. Furthermore, in some countries households and corporations have continued to accumulate debt. Drawing on the literature, the paper aims to provide a quantitative assessment of the gaps between actual and sustainable levels of debt and to identify the key factors that drive excessive borrowing. Results suggest that variables that are typically found important in studies focusing on borrowing decisions, are also relevant for explaining the debt sustainability gaps.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes reforms to Mexico’s fiscal framework. Mexico’s resilient economic performance would be consolidated by increasing fiscal policy buffers and preparing for challenges associated with long-term budget pressures. In the short term, reducing public debt levels can create space to implement countercyclical fiscal policies and reduce exposure to high financing and hedging costs, which would protect Mexico’s credit rating at times of distress. The paper highlights that recent fiscal reform is designed with these policy objectives in mind, to build on the strengths of the previous fiscal framework.
Mr. Jost Heckemeyer and Ruud A. de Mooij
This paper explores whether corporate tax bias toward debt finance differs between banks and nonbanks, using a large panel of micro data. On average, it finds that there is no significant difference. The marginal tax effect for both banks and non-banks is close to 0.2. However, the responsiveness differs considerably across the size distribution and the conditional leverage distribution. For nonbanks, we find a U-shaped relationship between asset size and tax responsiveness, although this pattern does not hold universally across the conditional leverage distribution. For banks, in contrast, the tax responsiveness declines linearly in asset size. Quantile regressions show further that capitaltight banks are significantly less responsive than are capital-abundant banks; the same pattern holds for the largest non-banks. Still, even the largest banks with high conditional leverage ratios feature a significant, positive tax response.
Mr. Serkan Arslanalp and Mr. Waikei R Lam
This paper examines how Japan’s long-term interest rates and Japanese banks’ interest rate risk exposures may evolve under Abenomics. Results from a panel regression analysis for major advanced economies shows that long-term government bond yields in Japan are determined to a large extent by growth and inflation outlook, fiscal conditions, demography, and the investor base of government securities. A further deterioration of fiscal conditions would push up long-term rates by about 2 percentage points over the medium term, but the rise is partly offset by higher demand for safe assets amid population aging and increased purchases by the Bank of Japan. At the same time, illustrative scenarios suggest the interest rate risk exposure of Japanese banks could decline substantially over the next two years. However, if structural and fiscal reforms are incomplete, both long-tem yields and interest-risk exposures of Japanese banks could increase over the medium term.
Mr. Tigran Poghosyan
We analyze factors driving persistently higher financial intermediation costs in low-income countries (LICs) relative to emerging market (EMs) country comparators. Using the net interest margin as a proxy for financial intermediation costs at the bank level, we find that within LICs a substantial part of the variation in interest margins can be explained by bank-specific factors: margins tend to increase with higher riskiness of credit portfolio, lower bank capitalization, and smaller bank size. Overall, we find that concentrated market structures and lack of competition in LICs banking systems and institutional weaknesses constitute the key impediments preventing financial intermediation costs from declining. Our results provide strong evidence that policies aimed at fostering banking competition and strengthening institutional frameworks can reduce intermediation costs in LICs.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Despite ongoing economic recovery and improvements in global financial stability, structural weaknesses and vulnerabilities remain in some important financial systems. The April 2011 Global Financial Stability Report highlights how risks have changed over the past six months, traces the sources and channels of financial distress with an emphasis on sovereign risk, notes the pressures arising from capital inflows in emerging economies, and discusses policy proposals under consideration to mend the global financial system.

Mr. Heiko Hesse and Mr. Tigran Poghosyan
This paper analyzes the relationship between oil price shocks and bank profitability. Using data on 145 banks in 11 oil-exporting MENA countries for 1994-2008, we test hypotheses of direct and indirect effects of oil price shocks on bank profitability. Our results indicate that oil price shocks have indirect effect on bank profitability, channeled through country-specific macroeconomic and institutional variables, while the direct effect is insignificant. Investment banks appear to be the most affected ones compared to Islamic and commercial banks. Our findings highlight systemic implications of oil price shocks on bank performance and underscore their importance for macroprudential regulation purposes in MENA countries.