While there is growing evidence of persistent or even permanent output losses from financial crises, the causes remain unclear. One candidate is intangible capital – a rising driver of economic growth that, being non-pledgeable as collateral, is vulnerable to financial frictions. By sheltering intangible investment from financial shocks, counter-cyclical macroeconomic policy could strengthen longer-term growth, particularly so where strong product market competition prevents firms from self-financing their investments through rents. Using a rich cross-country firm-level dataset and exploiting heterogeneity in firm-level exposure to the sharp and unforeseen tightening of credit conditions around September 2008, we find strong support for these theoretical predictions. The quantitative implications are large, highlighting a powerful stabilizing role for macroeconomic policy through the intangible investment channel, and its complementarity with pro-competition product market deregulation.
This Selected Issues paper reviews the relationship between real GDP growth and domestic bank lending to the private sector in Hungary after the global financial crisis, It draws on a cross-country analysis of European countries. The recessions that followed the crisis were deeper and lasted longer than the average recession. Hungary, like some other countries, experienced a creditless recovery. Although it is difficult to disentangle the causes, this analysis concludes that (1) both credit demand and supply were hurt by the crisis; (2) key factors influencing credit developments include loan quality, deposit funding, and bank capital, as well as the macroeconomic environment; and (3) lending by Hungarian banks to the private sector finally seems to be picking up.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This evaluation assesses the IMF’s response to the global financial and economic crisis, focusing on the period September 2008 through 2013. It assesses the IMF’s actions to help contain the crisis and navigate a global recovery, assist individual economies to cope with the impact of the crisis, and identify and warn about future risks.
We analyze the relationship between global and country-specific factors and emerging market debt spreads from three different angles. First, we aim to disentangle the effect of global and country-specific developments, and find that while both country-specific and global developments are important in the long-run, global factors are main determinants of spreads in the short-run. Second, we investigate whether and how the strength of fundamentals is related to the sensitivity of spreads to global factors. Countries with stronger fundamentals tend to have lower sensitivity to changes in global risk aversion. Third, we decompose changes in spreads and analyze the behavior of explained and unexplained components over different periods. To do so, we break down fitted changes in spreads into the contribution of country-specific and global factors, as well as decompose changes in the residual into the correction of initial misalignment and an increase/decrease in misalignment. We find that changes in spreads follow periods of tightening/widening, which are well-explained by the model; and the dynamics of the components of the unexplained residual follow all the major developments that impact market sentiment. In particular, we find that in the periods of severe marketstress, such as during the intensive phase of the Eurozone debt crisis, global factors tend to drive changes in the spreads and the misalignment tends to increase in magnitude and its relative share in actual spreads.
The private non-financial sector in Europe is facing increased challenges in meeting its debt servicing obligation. In response, governments are revisiting legal tools and—in some cases—institutional arrangements to deal with over-indebtedness. For households, where the problem in some countries is large but no established best practice exists, reforms have generally sought to allow debtors a fresh start while minimizing moral hazard and preserving bank solvency and credit discipline. For the corporate sector, efforts have focused on facilitating debt restruturing (including through out of court mechanisms). Direct government intervention has been rare.
Mr. Ralph De Haas, Ms. Yevgeniya Korniyenko, Mr. Alexander Pivovarsky, and Ms. Elena Loukoianova
We use data on 1,294 banks in Central and Eastern Europe to analyze how bank ownership and creditor coordination in the form of the Vienna Initiative affected credit growth during the 2008–09 crisis. As part of the Vienna Initiative western European banks signed country-specific commitment letters in which they pledged to maintain exposures and to support their subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe. We show that both domestic and foreign banks sharply curtailed credit during the crisis, but that foreign banks that participated in the Vienna Initiative were relatively stable lenders. We find no evidence of negative spillovers from countries where banks signed commitment letters to countries where they did not.
The most recent decade has seen a growing presence of banks headquartered in advanced economies (AEs) expanding into emerging markets (EMs). These expansions have brought some benefits to both home and host countries, but the global financial crisis has also unmasked significant vulnerabilities inherent in such relationships. In keeping with past cross-cutting themes papers, this paper focuses on the experiences of four medium-sized ?home countries,? each with significant retail banking links to EMs—Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. These countries were chosen because of their banks' diverse approaches to EM expansion (including the centralization of their funding models) and equally diverse crisis outcomes (fears over Eastern European exposures resulted in extraordinary policy efforts to maintain bank lending), providing fertile ground for analysis and for drawing lessons in the future.
We document the transmission of monetary policy and risk-premium shocks in Hungary, by applying recent advances in the Bayesian estimation of large VAR models. The method allows extracting information from over 100 series, opening the "black box" of the transmission mechanism to provide the most comprehensive description to date of the impact of these two shocks on the economy under the inflation-targeting regime. We find novel evidence that most of the channels of transmission are operational in Hungary, in spite of large liability euroization and high foreign ownership of banks and corporations. Due to financial stability concerns, monetary policy responds procyclically to risk-premium shocks. We also find that the use of such a large panel of data improves inflation forecasting performance over smaller models and renders this model suitable for policy purposes.
The global financial crisis has tested the effectiveness of supervision under the “Twin Peaks” model. The crisis revealed the strengths of the “Twin International Peaks” model, as decisions were able to be made in a timely manner to contain the crisis, and clear divisions of powers and responsibilities were instrumental in ensuring effective coordination between key agencies. However, the crisis also exposed certain areas where improvements could strengthen the “Twin Peaks” framework. Intensive and well-focused efforts are being made to strengthen the supervisory framework.
The program was successful in strengthening the economy and stabilizing market conditions, although part of the fiscal achievements were reversed after the program lapsed. The 2008 Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with Hungary successfully stabilized financial market conditions and strengthened the economy through sizable fiscal consolidation and important structural reforms, despite significant challenges. The program was a successful example of joint collaboration between the authorities, the EU, and the IMF, setting an important precedent for future joint programs. Much of the structural fiscal adjustment has since been reversed.