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Mr. Fei Han and Mindaugas Leika
The paper presents a framework to integrate liquidity and solvency stress tests. An empirical study based on European bond trading data finds that asset sales haircuts depend on the total amount of assets sold and general liquidity conditions in the market. To account for variations in market liquidity, the study uses Markov regime-switching models and links haircuts with market volatility and the amount of securities sold by banks. The framework is accompanied by a Matlab program and an Excel-based tool, which allow the calculations to be replicated for any type of traded security and to be used for liquidity and solvency stress testing.
Mr. Thomas J Sargent, Mr. George Hall, Mr. Martin Ellison, Mr. Andrew Scott, Mr. Harold James, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mark De Broeck, Mr. Nicolas End, Ms. Marina Marinkov, and Vitor Gaspar


World War I created a set of forces that affected the political arrangements and economies of all the countries involved. This period in global economic history between World War I and II offers rich material for studying international monetary and sovereign debt policies. Debt and Entanglements between the Wars focuses on the experiences of the United States, United Kingdom, four countries in the British Commonwealth (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Newfoundland), France, Italy, Germany, and Japan, offering unique insights into how political and economic interests influenced alliances, defaults, and the unwinding of debts. The narratives presented show how the absence of effective international collaboration and resolution mechanisms inflicted damage on the global economy, with disastrous consequences.

Mr. Hamid R Tabarraei, Abdelaziz Rouabah, and Olivier Pierrard
We examine the spillover effects between sovereigns and banks in a model with a heterogeneous banking system. An increase in sovereign’s default risk affects financial intermediaries through two channels in this model. First, banks’ funding costs might increase, inducing higher interest rates on loans and bonds and a cut back in these assets. Second, financial regulator’s risk-weighted asset framework would assign higher weights to lower quality assets, implying a portfolio rebalancing and more deleveraging. While capital adequacy requirements weaken the impact of shocks emerging from the real economy, they amplify the effect of shocks on banks’ balance sheets.
William Arrata, Benoit Nguyen, Imene Rahmouni-Rousseau, and Miklos Vari
Most short-term interest rates in the Euro area are below the European Central Bank deposit facility rate, the rate at which the central bank remunerates banks’ excess reserves. This unexpected development coincided with the start of the Public Sector Purchase Program (PSPP). In this paper, we explore empirically the interactions between the PSPP and repo rates. We document different channels through which asset purchases may affect them. Using proprietary data from PSPP purchases and repo transactions for specific (“special") securities, we assess the scarcity channel of PSPP and its impact on repo rates. We estimate that purchasing 1 percent of a bond outstanding is associated with a decline of its repo rate of 0.78 bps. Using an instrumental variable, we find that the full effect may be up to six times higher.
Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Caio Ferreira, Nigel Jenkinson, Mr. Luc Laeven, Alberto Martin, Ms. Camelia Minoiu, and Alex Popov
This paper reviews empirical and theoretical work on the links between banks and their governments (the bank-sovereign nexus). How significant is this nexus? What do we know about it? To what extent is it a source of concern? What is the role of policy intervention? The paper concludes with a review of recent policy proposals.
Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia
High household wealth is often cited as a key strength of the Italian economy. Both in absolute terms and relative to income, the Italian household sector is wealthier than most euro area peers. A sizable fraction of this wealth is held by the rich and upper middle classes. This paper documents the changes in the Italian household sector’s financial wealth over the past two decades, by constructing the matrix of bilateral financial sectoral exposures. Households became increasingly exposed to the financial sector, which in turn was exposed to the highly indebted real and government sectors. The paper then simulates different financial shocks to gauge the ability of the household sector to absorb losses. Simple illustrative calculations are presented for a fall in the value of government bonds as well as for bank bail-ins versus bailouts.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on various aspects of corporate debt in France. The increase in debt has financed real investments, as well as acquisition of financial assets and extension of intercompany loans. The increase in debt (and its level) appears less worrisome when debt is consolidated among nonfinancial corporations. Despite the increase in the stock of debt, debt service has increased moderately. A cross-country regression analysis reveals that French publicly listed firms are on average not more indebted and have not increased their debt more than peers in other countries, after controlling for firm and sector characteristics as well as common time effects. However, the increase in debt is concentrated among large firms with sizeable leverage in a few industries, raising questions about these firms’ ability to service this debt when interest rates rise. Stress test scenarios of a large and sudden increase in interest rates suggest that corporate debt at risk could be significant at a macroeconomic level, but that cash buffers would mitigate the impact of the shock on debt service.
Mr. Helge Berger, Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, and Mr. Maurice Obstfeld
The paper makes an analytical contribution to the revived discussion about the euro area’s institutional setup. After significant progress during the euro crisis, the drive to complete Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) had stalled, and the way forward will benefit from an in-depth look at the conceptual issues raised by the evolution and architecture of Europe, and the tradeoffs involved. A thorough look at the underlying economic issues suggests that in the long run, EMU will benefit from progressing along three mutually supporting tracks: introduce more fiscal risk sharing, helping to make the sovereign “no bailout” rule credible; complementary financial sector reforms to delink sovereigns and banks; and more effective rules to discourage moral hazard. This evolution would ensure that financial markets provide incentives for fiscal discipline. Introducing more fiscal union comes with myriad legal, technical, operational, and political problems, raising questions well beyond the remit of economics. But without decisive progress to foster fiscal risk sharing, EMU will continue to face existential risks.
Richard Varghese and Yuanyan Sophia Zhang
ECB President Draghi’s Jackson Hole speech in August 2014 arguably marked a new phase of unconventional monetary policies (UMPs) in the euro area. This paper examines the market impact and tranmission channels of this new wave of UMPs using a modified event study framework. They are found to have a more prominent impact on inflation expectations and exchange rates compared to the earlier UMP announcements. The impact on bank equity, however, is less significant in part due to narrowing profit margin in a low interest rate environment; and the marginal effect on sovereign spread compression has diminished. By extracting components of monetary policy shocks from the yield curve, we find that the traditional signaling channel of the monetary policy transmission continued to play an important role, but the portfolio rebalancing channel became more important in the new phase. Spillovers to non-euro area EU countries (the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, and Sweden) are transmitted mainly through the portfolio rebalancing channel, largely affecting sovereign yields and exchange rates.