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Jel Classification:F21 

International Trade, Risk and the Role of Banks

Banks play a critical role in international trade by providing trade finance products that reduce the risk of exporting. This paper employs two new data sets to shed light on the magnitude and structure of this business, which, as we show, is highly concentrated in a few large banks. The two principal trade finance instruments, letters of credit and documentary collections, covered about 10 percent of U.S. exports in 2012. They are preferred for larger transactions, which indicates the existence of substantial fixed costs in the provision and use of these instruments. Letters of credit are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 633

Journal Article
Recent developments in cross-border investment in securities

Securities have replaced bank lending in recent years as the primary means through which funds are invested internationally, and in the process, the share of U.S. securities owned by foreigners has grown markedly. Between 1974 and 2002, the proportion of the value of outstanding U.S. long-term securities (equities and long-term debt) that was foreign-owned increased from about 5 percent to about 12 percent. At the same time, U.S. holdings of foreign long-term securities also increased, although their growth did not match the rapid growth in foreign holdings of U.S. securities. At $1.8 ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 90 , Issue Win

Working Paper
Switching Volatility in a Nonlinear Open Economy

Uncertainty about an economy’s regime can change drastically around a crisis. An imported crisis such as the global financial crisis in the euro area highlights the effect of foreign shocks. Estimating an open-economy nonlinear dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model for the euro area and the United States including Markov-switching volatility shocks, we show that these shocks were significant during the global financial crisis compared with periods of calm. We describe how U.S. shocks from both the real economy and financial markets affected the euro area economy and how bond ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 386

Working Paper
Demographics and the Evolution of Global Imbalances

The age distribution evolves asymmetrically across countries, influencing relative saving rates and labor supply. Emerging economies experienced faster increases in working age shares than advanced economies did. Using a dynamic, multicountry model I quantify the effect of demographic changes on trade imbalances across 28 countries since 1970. Counterfactually holding demographics constant reduces net exports in emerging economies and boosts them in advanced economies. On average, a one percentage point increase in a country?s working age share, relative to the world, increases its ratio of ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 332

Working Paper
No Guarantees, No Trade: How Banks Affect Export Patterns

How relevant are financial instruments to manage risk in international trade for exporting? Employing a unique dataset of U.S. banks' trade finance claims by country, this paper estimates the effect of shocks to the supply of letters of credit on U.S. exports. We show that a one-standard deviation negative shock to a country's supply of letters of credit reduces U.S. exports to that country by 1.5 percentage points. This effect is stronger for smaller and poorer destinations. It more than doubles during crisis times, suggesting a non-negligible role for finance in explaining the Great Trade ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1158

Working Paper
Banking Across Borders With Heterogeneous Banks

This paper develops a model of banking across borders where banks differ in their efficiencies that can replicate key patterns in the data. More efficient banks are more likely to have assets, liabilities and affiliates abroad and have larger foreign operations. Banks are more likely to be active in countries that have less efficient domestic banks, are bigger and more open to foreign entry. In the model, banking sector integration leads to bank exit and entry and convergence in the return on loans and funding costs across countries. Bank heterogeneity matters for the associated welfare ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1177

Journal Article
U.S. international transactions in 1998

U.S. external deficits widened substantially in 1998 because of the disparity between the rapid pace of U.S. economic growth and sluggish growth abroad and also because of the decline in the price competitiveness of U.S. goods associated with the appreciation of the dollar. The nominal current account deficit reached $233 billion in 1998, compared with $155 billion in 1997; the 1998 deficit was 2.7 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, the largest share since 1987. Most of the widening in the deficit was in trade in goods and services. The financial crises in Asia that emerged in the second ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 85 , Issue May

Working Paper
Benefits of foreign ownership: evidence from foreign direct investment in china

To examine the effect of foreign direct investment, this paper compares the post-acquisition performance changes of foreign- and domestic-acquired firms in China. Unlike previous studies, we investigate the purified effect of foreign ownership by using domestic-acquired firms as the control group. After controlling for the acquisition effect that also exists in domestic acquisitions, we find no evidence in the data that foreign ownership can bring productivity gains to target firms. In contrast, a strong and robust finding is that foreign ownership significantly improves target firms' ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 191

Working Paper
The Replacement of Safe Assets: Evidence from the U.S. Bond Portfolio

The expansion in financial sector "safe" assets, largely in the form of structured products from the U.S. and the Caribbean, in the lead-up to the global financial crisis has by now been fairly well documented. Using a unique dataset derived from security-level data on U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities, we show that since the crisis, it is mostly the foreign financial sector that appears to have met U.S. demand for safe and liquid investment assets by expanding its supply of debt securities. We also find a strong negative correlation between the foreign share of the U.S. ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1123

Working Paper
Home Country Interest Rates and International Investment in U.S. Bonds

We analyze how interest rates affect cross-border portfolio investments. Data on U.S. bond holdings by foreign investors from 31 countries for the period 2003 - 2016 and a large variety in movements in interest rates in these countries provide for a unique way to analyze shifts in investment behavior in response to interest rates. We find that low(er) interest rates, now prevailing in many advanced countries, lead to greater investment in general into the United States, with the effects generally driven by investment in (higher yielding) corporate bonds, rather than in Treasury bonds. In ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1231


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