The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic loss of human life and major damage to the European economy, but thanks to an exceptionally strong policy response, potentially devastating outcomes have been avoided.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note presents risk analysis of banking and insurance sector in France. The assessment is based on stress tests, which simulate the health of banks, insurers under severe yet plausible (counterfactual) adverse scenarios. The stress tests reveal that banks and insurers would be resilient against simulated shocks, although some challenges remain. French banks have improved their capitalization and asset quality; however, profitability remains challenged. The report also highlights that profitability is pressured on both the income and expense sides. Banks’ ability to generate higher interest income is constrained by persistently low interest rates, and market businesses including trading activities have contracted in recent years. Growth-at-risk (GaR) analysis shows that the biggest contributing factors to the risk of growth are cost of funding and stock market prices. Financial conditions continue to tighten gradually since mid-2017; though the overall conditions remain accommodative. Risks stemming from loans to households seem to be contained over the short- to medium-term horizon, given relatively strong households’ balance sheets, no evidence of significant misalignment in house prices, social safety nets, and fixed interest rates.
This paper explores what history can tell us about the interactions between macroprudential and monetary policy. Based on numerous historical documents, we show that liquidity ratios similar to the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) were commonly used as monetary policy tools by central banks between the 1930s and 1980s. We build a model that rationalizes the mechanisms described by contemporary central bankers, in which an increase in the liquidity ratio has contractionary effects, because it reduces the quantity of assets banks can pledge as collateral. This effect, akin to quantity rationing, is more pronounced when excess reserves are scarce.
We document a broad-based trend in rising cash holdings of firms across major industrialized countries over the last two decades, a trend that is most pronounced for firms engaged strongly in R&D activities. Our contributions to the literature are twofold. First, we develop a simple model that brings together the insights from modern trade theory (Melitz, 2003) with those of contract theory in corporate finance (Holmström and Tirole, 1998) to show that increased openness to trade can result in rising returns to innovation and in turn greater demand for cash as firms insure against innovation-induced liquidity risk. Second, we derive sharp empirical predictions and find supporting evidence for them using firm-level data across major G7 countries during 1995-2014, a period that saw an unprecedented rise in globalization and business innovation.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
"Despite a long history of program engagement, the Fund has not developed guidance on program design in members of currency unions. The Fund has engaged with members of the four currency unions—the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, the European Monetary Union, and the West African Economic and Monetary Union—under Fund-supported programs. In some cases, union-wide institutions supported their members in undertaking adjustment under Fund-supported programs. As such, several programs incorporated—on an ad hoc basis—critical policy actions that union members had delegated. Providing general guidance on program design for members in a currency union context would fill a gap in Fund policy and help ensure consistent, transparent, and evenhanded treatment across Fund-supported programs.
This paper considers two options on when and how the Fund should seek policy assurances from union-level institutions in programs of currency union members. Option 1 would involve amending the Conditionality Guidelines, which would allow the use of standard conditionality tools with respect to actions by union-level institutions. Option 2—which staff prefers—proposes formalizing current practices and providing general guidance regarding principles and modalities on policy assurances from union-level institutions in support of members’ adjustment programs. Neither option would infringe upon the independence (or legally-provided autonomy) of union-level institutions, since the institutions would decide what measures or policy actions to take—just as any independent central bank or monetary authority does, for example, in non-CU members."