Financial regulation and banking

Stefano Micossi, 11 December 2017

Negotiations on the banking union in the Eurozone have been stuck ever since the Italian government assembled a blocking minority opposing further discussions on proposals to reduce legacy risks in banks’ balance sheets. This column argues that completing the banking union should once again be given priority, and that the European deposit insurance scheme could move forward immediately by providing in its early phase that the ESM would offer a liquidity line to national deposit guaranty schemes that had exhausted their funds, with no sharing of losses.

Yener Altunbaş, Mahir Binici, Leonardo Gambacorta, Andres Murcia, 05 December 2017

The main objective of macroprudential tools is to reduce systemic risks – in particular, the frequency and depth of financial crises. Most studies look at the impact of macroprudential measures on credit growth, focusing on country-wide data or bank-level information. This column presents new evidence using credit registry data at the bank-firm level to evaluate the impact on bank risk measures. Results show that macroprudential tools help stabilise credit cycles and contain bank risk.

Vincent Bignon, Guillaume Vuillemey, 04 December 2017

To improve financial stability after the Global Crisis, regulators have mandated the use of central clearing counterparties for standardised derivatives. While they are designed to insulate investors against counterparty risk, the central clearing counterparties themselves can fail. This column uses historical data to discuss how this can happen. The results show the risks to financial stability when a central clearing counterparty starts gambling for its resurrection.

Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 03 December 2017

The Global Crisis dramatically revealed the severity of ignorance about risk exposure in the global financial system. A major issue is the complexity of legal structures with webs of subsidiaries and a lack of consolidated information systems. This column describes efforts to address these failings through the launching of a global legal entity identifier. The initiative offers great promise for addressing the complex information problems. However, network externalities imply that its success will depend on participation and adoption incentives.

Daniel Gros, 27 November 2017

A key remaining issue for the completion of the Banking Union is the concentrated exposure of banks in many countries to their own sovereign. This column argues that the belief that banks should be allowed to buy large amounts of their own sovereign so they can stabilise the market in a crisis is mistaken for two reasons: banks are only intermediaries, and banks have higher cost of funding. The overall conclusion is that governments should make it more attractive for households (and other real money investors) to hold government debt directly. 

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