Outflows from Bank-Loan Funds during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has put significant pressure on debt markets, especially those populated by riskier borrowers. The leveraged loan market, in particular, came under remarkable stress during the month of March. Bank-loan mutual funds, among the main holders of leveraged loans, suffered massive outflows that were reminiscent of the outflows they experienced during the 2008 crisis. In this post, we show that the flow sensitivity of the loan-fund industry to the COVID-19 crisis (and to negative shocks more generally) seems to be even greater than that of high-yield bond funds, which also ...
Banking market structure, financial dependence and growth: international evidence from industry data
This paper explores the empirical relevance of banking market structure on growth. There is substantial evidence of a positive relationship between the level of development of the banking sector of an economy and its long-run output growth. Little is known, however, about the role played by the market structure of the banking sector on the dynamics of capital accumulation. This paper provides evidence that bank concentration promotes the growth of those industrial sectors that are more in need of external finance by facilitating credit access to younger firms. However, we also find evidence ...
Selection in Banking
Over the past thirty years, more than 2,900 U.S. banks have transformed from pure depository institutions into conglomerates involved in a broad range of business activities. What type of banks choose to become conglomerate organizations? In this post, we document that, from 1986 to 2018, such institutions had, on average, a higher return on equity in the three years prior to their decision to expand, as well as a lower level of risk overall. However, this superior pre-expansion performance diminishes over time, and all but disappears by the end of the 1990s.
Global Banks and Their Internal Capital Markets during the Crisis
As financial markets have become increasingly globalized, banks have developed growing networks of branches and subsidiaries in foreign countries. This expansion of banking across borders is changing the way banks manage their balance sheets, and the ways home markets and foreign markets respond to disturbances to financial markets. Based on our recent research, this post shows how global banks used their foreign affiliates for accessing scarce dollars during the financial crisis—a liquidity strategy that helped transmit shocks internationally while reducing some of the consequences in the ...
Measures of global bank complexity
Size and complexity are customarily viewed as contributing to the too-big-to-fail status of financial institutions. Yet there is no standard accepted metric for the complexity of a ?typical? financial firm, much less for a large firm engaged in global finance. This article provides perspective on the issue of complexity by examining the number, types, and geographical spread of global financial institutions? affiliates. The authors show that standard measures of institution size are strongly related to total counts of affiliates in an organization, but are more weakly aligned with other ...
Trends in financial market concentration and their implications for market stability
The link between financial market concentration and stability is a topic of great interest to policymakers and other market participants. Are concentrated markets - those where a relatively small number of firms hold large market shares - inherently more prone to disruption? This article considers that question by drawing on academic studies as well as introducing new analysis. Like other researchers, the authors find an ambiguous relationship between concentration and instability when a large firm in a concentrated market fails. In a complementary review of concentration trends across a ...
Follow the money: quantifying domestic effects of foreign bank shocks in the Great Recession
Foreign banks pulled significant funding from their U.S. branches during the Great Recession. We estimate that the average-sized branch experienced a 12 percent net internal fund ?withdrawal,? with the fund transfer disproportionately bigger for larger branches. This internal shock to the balance sheets of U.S. branches of foreign banks had sizable effects on their lending. On average, for each dollar of funds transferred internally to the parent, branches decreased lending supply by about forty to fifty cents. However, the extent of the lending effects was very different across branches, ...
Finance as a barrier to entry: bank competition and industry structure in local U.S. markets
This paper tests how competition in local U.S. banking markets affects the market structure of non- financial sectors. Theory offers competing hypotheses about how competition ought to influence firm entry and access to bank credit by mature firms. Using data on U.S. local markets for banking and non-financial sectors, we find that more vigorous banking competition ? that is, lower concentration and looser restrictions on geographical expansion -- is associated with more firms in operation and with a smaller average firm size. In fact, the whole firm-size distribution shifts toward the origin ...