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Complexity in Large U.S. Banks
The structural complexity of the largest U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) has been changing. Following the global financial crisis, the simplification of bank complexity was a policy priority. Using a variety of measures of organizational, business, and geographic complexity, the authors show that large U.S. BHCs nonetheless remain very complex. Organizational complexity has declined, as the average number of legal entities within large U.S. BHCs has fallen. By contrast, the range of industries spanned by legal entities within the BHCs has shifted more than it has declined, especially ...
Ring-Fencing and \\"Financial Protectionism\\" in International Banking
Some market watchers and academic researchers are concerned about a ?Balkanization? of banking, owing to a sharp decline in cross-border international banking activity (see chart below), and an increased home bias of financial transactions. Meanwhile, policy and regulatory efforts are under consideration that may further induce banks to shift away from international activity, including ring-fencing of domestic banking operations, other forms of "financial protectionism," and enhanced oversight and prudential measures.
A Look at Bank Loan Performance
U.S. banks experienced a rapid rise in loan delinquencies and defaults during the 2007-09 recession, driven by rising unemployment and falling real estate prices, among other factors. More than four years on from the official end of the recession, how do things look now?
How Do Liquidity Conditions Affect U.S. Bank Lending?
The recent financial crisis underscored the importance of understanding how liquidity conditions for banks (or other financial institutions) influence the banks? lending to domestic and foreign customers. Our recent research examines the domestic and international lending responses to liquidity risks across different types of large U.S. banks before, during, and after the global financial crisis. The analysis compares large global U.S. banks?that is, those that have offices in foreign countries and are able to move liquidity from affiliates across borders?with large domestic U.S. banks, which ...
Available for Sale? Understanding Bank Securities Portfolios
It’s natural to think of banks as intermediaries that take in deposits and use them to make loans to businesses and individuals. But in fact, loans make up only 45 percent of the assets of U.S. banking organizations. What’s the rest? A large chunk, representing 24 percent of total assets, is accounted for by securities, such as U.S. Treasury and foreign government bonds, mortgage-backed securities (MBS), municipal and corporate bonds, and equities. In this post, we take a tour of bank securities portfolios, making use of charts and statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s ...
Banking globalization, monetary transmission, and the lending channel
The globalization of banking in the United States is influencing the monetary transmission mechanism both domestically and in foreign markets. Using quarterly information from all U.S. banks filing call reports between 1980 and 2006, we show that globalized banks activate internal capital markets with their overseas affiliates to insulate themselves partially from changes in domestic liquidity conditions. The existence of these internal capital markets directly contributes to an international propagation of domestic liquidity shocks to lending by affiliated banks abroad. While these results ...
Banking globalization, transmission, and monetary policy autonomy
International financial linkages, particularly through global bank flows, generate important questions about the consequences for economic and financial stability, including the ability of countries to conduct autonomous monetary policy. I address the monetary autonomy issue in the context of the international policy trilemma: Countries seek three typically desirable but jointly unattainable objectives?stable exchange rates, free international capital mobility, and monetary policy autonomy oriented toward, and effective at, achieving domestic goals. I argue that global banking entails some ...
Regulation and risk shuffling in bank securities portfolios
Bank capital requirements are based on a mix of market values and book values. We investigate the effects of a policy change that ties regulatory capital to the market value of the ?available-for-sale" investment securities portfolio for some banking organizations. Our analysis is based on security-level data on individual bank portfolios matched to bond characteristics. We find little clear evidence that banks respond by reducing the riskiness of their securities portfolios, although there is some evidence of a greater use of derivatives to hedge securities exposures. Instead, banks respond ...
Analyzing the Effects of CFPB Oversight
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created in 2011, is a key element of post-crisis U.S. financial regulation, as well as the subject of intense debate. While some have praised the agency, citing the benefits of consumer financial protection, others argue that its activities involve high compliance costs, increase uncertainty and legal risk, and ultimately reduce the availability of financial services for consumers. We present new evidence on whether the CFPB?s supervisory and enforcement activities have significantly affected the supply of mortgage credit, or had other effects ...
Complexity in large U.S. banks
While both size and complexity are important for the largest U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs), specific types of complexity and their patterns across banks are not well understood. We introduce a range of measures of organizational, business, and geographic complexity. Comparing 2007 with 2017, we show that large U.S. BHCs remain very complex, with some declines along organizational and geographical complexity dimensions. The numbers of legal entities within some large BHCs have fallen. By contrast, the multiple industries spanned by legal entities within the BHCs have shifted more than ...