Business and Economics > Econometrics

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Mr. Thierry Tressel and Xiaodan Ding
Corporate sector vulnerabilities have been a central policy topic since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we analyze some 17,000 publicly listed firms in a sample of 24 countries, and assess their ability to withstand shocks induced by the pandemic to their liquidity, viability and solvency. For this purpose, we develop novel multi-factor sensitivity analysis and dynamic scenario-based stress test techniques to assess the impact of shocks on firm’s ability to service their debt, and on their liquidity and solvency positions. Applying the October 2020 WEO baseline and adverse scenarios, we find that a large share of publicly-listed firms become vulnerable as a result of the pandemic shock and additional borrowing needs to overcome cash shortfalls are large, while firm behavioral responses and policies substantially help overcome the impact of the shock in the near term. Looking forward, while interest coverage ratios tend to improve over time after the initial shock as earnings recover in line with projected macroeconomic conditions, liquidity needs remain substantial in many firms across countries and across industries, while insolvencies rise over time in specific industries. To inform policy debates, we offer an approach to a triage between viable and unviable firms, and find that the needs for liquidity support of viable firms remain important beyond 2020, and that medium-term debt restructuring needs and liquidations of firms may be substantial in the medium-term.
Mr. Tobias Adrian and Peichu Xie
The USD asset share of non-U.S. banks captures the demand for dollars by these investors. An instrumental variable strategy identifies a causal link from the USD asset share to the USD exchange rate. Cross-sectional asset pricing tests show that the USD asset share is a highly significant pricing factor for carry trade strategies. The USD asset share forecasts the dollar with economically large magnitude, high statistical significance, and large explanatory power, both in sample and out of sample, pointing towards time varying risk premia. It takes 2-5 years for exchange rate risk premia to normalize in response to demand shocks.
Lahcen Bounader and Mohamed Doukali
We test the existence of the balance sheet channel of monetary policy in a middle-income country. Firm-level data scarcity and quality, in such a context, make the identification of this channel a steep challenge. To circumvent this challenge, we use panel instrumental variables estimation with measurement error to analyze the financial statements of 58 500 Moroccan firms over the period 2010-2016. Our analysis confirms the existence of this channel. It shows that monetary policy has a significant impact on small and medium enterprises’ access to banks’ financing, and that firm-specific variables are key determinants of firms’ financing decisions.
Mr. Francesco Caselli and Mr. Philippe Wingender
This paper estimates the effects of the Maastricht treaty’s fiscal criterion on EU countries’ general government deficits. We combine treatment effects methods with bunching estimation, and find that the 3 percent deficit rule acts as a “magnet”, increasing the number of observations around the threshold, while reducing the occurrence of both large government deficits and surpluses. After the rule is adopted, the distribution of government deficits among EU countries displays 20 percent excess mass around the deficit ceiling compared to a counterfactual distribution in which countries have the same observable characteristics but without the fiscal rule. Most of the bunching response comes from a reduction in the number of high deficit observations. We also find that the average treatment effect on fiscal deficits is positive and statistically significant. Finally, we derive country-specific impacts under a rank invariance assumption and find that all EU countries have seen their fiscal position improve on average as a result of the deficit rule.
Christoph Aymanns, Carlos Caceres, Christina Daniel, and Miss Liliana B Schumacher
Understanding the interaction between bank solvency and funding cost is a crucial pre-requisite for stress-testing. In this paper we study the sensitivity of bank funding cost to solvency measures while controlling for various other measures of bank fundamentals. The analysis includes two measures of bank funding cost: (a) average funding cost and (b) interbank funding cost as a proxy of wholesale funding cost. The main findings are: (1) Solvency is negatively and significantly related to measures of funding cost, but the effect is small in magnitude. (2) On average, the relationship is stronger for interbank funding cost than for average funding cost. (3) During periods of stress interbank funding cost is more sensitive to solvency than in normal times. Finally, (4) the relationship between funding cost and solvency appears to be non-linear, with higher sensitivity of funding cost at lower levels of solvency.
Mr. Thierry Tressel and Ms. Yuanyan S Zhang
The crisis has highlighted the importance of setting up macro-prudential oversight frameworks, having effective macro-prudential instruments in place to be called upon to mitigate growing financial imbalances as needed. We develop a new approach using the euro area Bank Lending Survey to assess the effectiveness of macro-prudential policies in containing credit growth and house price appreciation in mortgage markets. We find instruments targeting the cost of bank capital most effective in slowing down mortgage credit growth, and that the impact is transmitted mainly through price margins, the same banking channel as monetary policy. Limits on loan-to-value ratios are also effective, especially when monetary policy is excessively loose.
Mr. Germán López-Espinosa, Mr. Antonio Rubia, Ms. Laura Valderrama, and Mr. Antonio Moreno
To date, an operational measure of systemic risk capturing non-linear tail comovement between system-wide and individual bank returns has not yet been developed. This paper proposes an extension of the so-called CoVaR measure that captures the asymmetric response of the banking system to positive and negative shocks to the market-valued balance sheets of individual banks. For the median of our sample of U.S. banks, the relative impact on the system of a fall in individual market value is sevenfold that of an increase. Moreover, the downward bias in systemic risk from ignoring this asymmetric pattern increases with bank size. The conditional tail comovement between the banking system and a top decile bank which is losing market value is 5.4 larger than the unconditional tail comovement versus only 2.2 for banks in the bottom decile. The asymmetric model also produces much better estimates and fitting, and thus improves the capacity to monitor systemic risk. Our results suggest that ignoring asymmetries in tail interdependence may lead to a severe underestimation of systemic risk in a downward market.
International Monetary Fund
In this paper we identify some of the main factors behind systemic risk in a set of international large-scale complex banks using the novel CoVaR approach. We find that short-term wholesale funding is a key determinant in triggering systemic risk episodes. In contrast, we find no evidence that a larger size increases systemic risk within the class of large global banks. We also show that the sensitivity of system-wide risk to an individual bank is asymmetric across episodes of positive and negative asset returns. Since short-term wholesale funding emerges as the most relevant systemic factor, our results support the Basel Committee's proposal to introduce a net stable funding ratio, penalizing excessive exposure to liquidity risk.
Victor Duarte Lledo and Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro
This paper investigates economic, political, and institutional constraints to fiscal policy implementation in sub-saharan Africa. We find that planned fiscal adjustments or expansions are less likely to be implemented the larger they are, the more inaccurate the growth forecasts they are based on, the more fragile the regulatory system in the country, and the weaker the institutions framing the design, approval, and execution of the budget. The findings support ongoing efforts in the region to improve the quality and timeliness of economic data; enhance forecasting capacity; adopt realistic fiscal plans; and strengthen governance, budgetary institutions, and public financial management procedures.