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Andrea Deghi, Dulani Seneviratne, and Tomohiro Tsuruga
This paper assesses whether corporate liquidity needs in the G7 economies were met during the containment phase of the COVID-19 pandemic (February-June 2020) using various approaches to identify credit supply shocks. The pandemic crisis adversely affected nonfinancial corporate sector cash flows, generating liquidity and solvency pressures. However, corporate borrowing surged in March and into the second quarter, thanks to credit line drawdowns and unprecedented policy support. In the United States, the bond market was buoyant from the end of March onward, but credit supply conditions for bank loans and the syndicated loan market tightened. In other G7 economies, credit supply conditions generally eased somewhat across markets during the second quarter. Among listed firms, entities with weaker liquidity or solvency positions before the onset of COVID-19, as well as smaller firms, suffered relatively more financial stress in some economies in the early stages of the crisis. Residual signs of strain remained as of the end of June. Policy interventions, especially those directly targeting the corporate sector, had a beneficial effect on credit supply overall.
Mr. Marco Gross
Where do economic cycles come from? This paper contemplates an utmost minimalistic model and underlying theory that rest on two assumptions for letting them emerge endogenously: (1) the presence of interest-bearing debt; and (2) a degree of downward nominal wage rigidity. Despite its parsimony, the model generates well-behaved, self-evolving limit cycles and replicates six essential empirical facts: (1) booms are long- while recessions short-lived; (2) leverage is procyclical; (3) firm profit and wage shares in GDP are counter- and procyclical, respectively; (4) Phillips curves are downward-sloping and convex, and Okun’s law relation is replicated; (5) default cascades arise endogenously at the turning points to recessions; (6) lending spreads are countercyclical. One can refer to the model as being of a Dynamic Stochastic General Disequilibrium (DSGD) kind.
Mr. Plamen K Iossifov
We analyze a range of macrofinancial indicators to extract signals about cyclical systemic risk across 107 economies over 1995–2020. We construct composite indices of underlying liquidity, solvency and mispricing risks and analyze their patterns over the financial cycle. We find that liquidity and solvency risk indicators tend to be counter-cyclical, whereas mispricing risk ones are procyclical, and they all lead the credit cycle. Our results lend support to high-level accounts that risks were underestimated by stress indicators in the run-up to the 2008 global financial crisis. The policy implications of conflicting risk signals would depend on the phase of the credit cycle.
Can Sever, Rohit Goel, Dimitris Drakopoulos, and Mr. Evan Papageorgiou
The COVID-19 pandemic led many emerging market central banks to adopt, for the first time, unconventional policies in the form of asset purchase programs. In this study, we analyze the effects of these announcements on domestic financial markets using both event studies and local projections methodology. We find that these asset purchase announcements lowered bond yields, did not lead to a depreciation of domestic currencies, and did not have much effect on equities. While the immediate effect of asset purchases appears positive, further consideration of the risks and longer-term effects of unconventional monetary policies is needed. We highlight the trade-offs involved with the implementation of these measures, and discuss their risks. This working paper adds to the debate on how asset purchase programs should be a regular part of the emerging market policy toolkit.
Majid Bazarbash and Ms. Kimberly Beaton
Can fintech credit fill the credit gap in the consumer and business segments? There are few cross-country studies that explore this question. Focusing on marketplace lending, an important part of fintech credit, we use data for 109 countries from 2015 to 2017 to study the relationship between fintech credit to businesses and consumers and various aspects of financial development. Marketplace lending to consumers grows in countries where financial depth declines highlighting the role of fintech credit in filling the credit gap by traditional lenders. This result is particularly strong in low-income countries. In the business segment, marketplace lending expands where financial efficiency declines. Our findings show that low-income countries take advantage of the fintech credit opportunity in the consumer segment but face important challenges in the business segment.