Do Negative Interest Rates Explain Low Profitability of European Banks?
In this note, we examine the effects of low and negative sovereign yields on net interest margins and the general profitability of European banks.
Risk-Taking Spillovers of U.S. Monetary Policy in the Global Market for U.S. Dollar Corporate Loans
We study the effects of U.S. interest rates and other factors on risk-taking in the global market for U.S. dollar syndicated term loans. We find that, before the Global Financial Crisis, both U.S. and non-U.S. lenders originated ex ante riskier loans to non-U.S. borrowers in response to a decline in short-term U.S. interest rates and, after the crisis, in response to a decline in longer-term U.S. interest rates. After the crisis, this behavior was more prominent for shadow banks and less prominent for banks with relatively low capital. Separately, before the crisis, lenders originated less ...
Arbitrage, liquidity and exit: the repo and federal funds markets before, during, and emerging from the financial crisis
This paper examines the link between the federal funds and repo markets, before, during, and emerging from the financial crisis that began in August 2007. In particular, the paper investigates the initial transmission of monetary policy to closely related money markets, pricing of risk, and liquidity effects, and then shows how these could interact if the Federal Reserve removes the substantial amount of liquidity currently in the federal funds market. The results suggest that pass-through from the federal funds rate to the repo deteriorated somewhat during the zero lower bound period, likely ...
The Credit Crunch and Fall in Employment during the Great Recession
We study the existence and economic significance of bank lending channels that affect employment in U.S. manufacturing industries. In particular, we address the question of how a dramatic worsening of firm and consumer access to bank credit, such as the one observed over the Great Recession, translates into job losses in these industries. To identify these channels, we rely on differences in the degree of external finance dependence and of asset tangibility across manufacturing industries and in the sensitivity of these industries' output to changes in the supply of consumer credit. We show ...
Risk Taking and Low Longer-term Interest Rates: Evidence from the U.S. Syndicated Loan Market
We use supervisory data to investigate risk taking in the U.S. syndicated loan market at a time when longer-term interest rates are exceptionally low, and we study the ex-ante credit risk of loans acquired by different types of lenders, including banks and shadow banks. We find that insurance companies, pension funds, and, in particular, structured-finance vehicles take higher credit risk when investors expect interest rates to remain low. Banks originate riskier loans that they tend to divest shortly after origination, thus appearing to accommodate other lenders' investment choices. These ...
Bank capital ratios and the structure of nonfinancial industries
We exploit variation in commercial bank capital ratios across states to identify the impact of commercial bank balance sheet pressures manifested through changes in capital ratios on employment in the manufacturing sector. For industries dependent on external finance, we find that an increase in the capital ratio has no statistically significant effect on net firm creation, but has an economically significant impact on average firm size, as measured in the number of employees. Our findings indicate a lack of substitutes for bank funding both in the short and long run. This lack of substitutes ...
The Anatomy of Financial Vulnerabilities and Crises
We extend the framework used in Aikman, Kiley, Lee, Palumbo, and Warusawitharana (2015) that maps vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system to a broader set of advanced and emerging economies. Our extension tracks a broader set of vulnerabilities and, therefore, captures signs of different types of crises. The typical anatomy of the evolution of vulnerabilities before and after a financial crisis is as follows. Pressures in asset valuations materialize, and a build-up of imbalances in the external, financial, and nonfinancial sectors follows. A financial crisis is typically followed by a ...
Modeling Your Stress Away
We investigate systematic changes in banks' projected credit losses between the 2014 and 2016 EBA stress tests, employing methodology from Philippon et al. (2017). We find that projected credit losses were smoothed across the tests through systematic model adjustments. Those banks whose losses would have increased the most from 2014 to 2016 due to changes in the supervisory scenarios-keeping the models constant and controlling for changes in the riskiness of underlying portfolios-saw the largest decrease in losses due to model changes. Model changes were more pronounced for banks that rely ...
International Dollar Flows
Using confidential Federal Reserve data, we study the factors driving U.S. banknote flows between the United States and other countries. These flows are a significant component of capital flows in emerging market economies, where physical U.S. currency functions as a safe asset and precautionary demand for U.S. banknotes is a form of flight to quality. Prior to the global financial crisis, country-specific factors, including local economic uncertainty, largely explain the volume and heterogeneity of the flows. Since the crisis, global factors, particularly, global economic uncertainty, ...
Bank Capital Pressures, Loan Substitutability, and Nonfinancial Employment
We exploit the cross-state, cross-time variation in bank tangible capital ratios-brought about by bank branch deregulation on a state-by-state basis-to identify the effects of bank capital pressures on employment and firm dynamics during two waves of changes in bank capital regulation. We show that stronger capital pressures temporarily slowed down growth in employment in industries that depend on external finance, retarding growth in the average size of firms rather than in the number of firms. Such effects were particularly strong for smaller firms that may not have had access to national ...