Financial regulation and banking

Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 22 February 2018

Investment is shifting from tangible physical assets to intangible goods like software, data, and R&D. This column analyses the impact of this shift on the structure of firm financing. The financial system’s shift from public to private equity is, on the whole, an encouraging reflection of its response to the changing needs of the economy.

Panicos Demetriades, 21 February 2018

Europe’s new framework for resolving banks includes a ‘bail-in’ mechanism that aims to ensure that banks’ shareholders and creditors pay their share of costs, and which was first used to resolve the 2013 banking crisis in Cyprus. This column, written by the economist who was the country’s central bank governor at the time, examines the unintended consequences of the bail-in, which have proved more toxic than could ever have been imagined, and not just in Cyprus. Several euro area central banks and their governors have found themselves in the eye of political and legal storms when taking actions to resolve failing banks and/or restore stability in their banking systems.

Eugenio Cerutti, Haonan Zhou, 09 February 2018

Chinese banks have continued to expand rapidly both domestically and abroad. Together, they constitute the largest banking sector in the world by far. This column places the Chinese banking system in a global context. Although very small relative to their domestic claims, Chinese banks’ foreign claims are substantial for many borrower countries in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean in particular. Many of these banking connections are related to Chinese outward foreign direct investment, with fewer related to trade linkages.

Michele Lanotte, Pietro Tommasino, 05 February 2018

Late last year, the Basel Committee decided to maintain the status quo regarding regulation of banks’ sovereign debt holdings. This column summarises the reasons to be cautious of stricter regulation of banks’ sovereign exposures. Theory and experience suggest small net benefits from such a reform, with possible increases in tail risks. The best instrument to tackle the problem is not microprudential regulation, but sounder public finances and the completion of the banking union.

Martin Brown, Ioanna S Evangelou, Helmut Stix, 01 February 2018

A cornerstone of new bank resolution policies across the world is the introduction of bail-ins to redistribute the costs of bank failures from taxpayers to bank creditors. This column uses the bail-in of two banks in Cyprus to examine how bank depositors react to this way of resolving a crisis. In the short run, customers who experienced deposit or bond bail-ins increased their holdings of cash and reduced deposits, while those who faced only an equity bail-in did not change their behaviour. In the medium run, confidence in the banking system among all depositors remained low.

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