Sulkhan Chavleishvili, Stephan Fahr, Manfred Kremer, Simone Manganelli, Bernd Schwaab, 05 October 2021

When managing financial imbalances, macroprudential policymakers face an intertemporal trade-off between facilitating short-term expected growth and containing medium-term downside risks to the economy. To help assess this trade-off, this column proposes a risk management framework which extends the well-known notion of growth-at-risk to consider the entire predictive real GDP growth distribution. The authors use a novel empirical model fitted to euro area data to study the direct and indirect interactions between financial vulnerabilities, financial stress, and real GDP growth, highlighting a number of key findings.

John Fell, Tuomas Peltonen, Richard Portes, 02 June 2021

At the end of 2019 the European Systemic Risk Board General Board mandated a Task Force on Low Interest Rates to revisit the ESRB’s 2016 report on “Macroprudential policy issues arising from low interest rates and structural changes in the EU financial system”, assess subsequent developments, compare these to the risks identified in the report, and assess whether new sources of systemic risk have emerged. Furthermore, the Task Force was mandated to review progress in relation to the policy proposals in the earlier report, as well as propose possible new policy actions aimed at mitigating potential systemic risks. As this column discusses, the new report finds that the low interest rate environment continues to pose risks for financial stability. For instance, since 2016, search-for-yield behaviour has intensified in the banking and investment fund sectors, and some business models are proving unsustainable. To address these sources of risk and vulnerabilities, the report puts forward a wide range of policy options.

Matthieu Darracq Pariès, Christoffer Kok, Matthias Rottner, 02 May 2021

The prolonged period of negative interest rates in advanced economies has raised concerns that further monetary policy accommodation could produce contractionary effects. Using a non-linear macroeconomic model fitted to the euro area economy, this column demonstrates that the risk of hitting the ‘reversal interest rate’ depends on the capitalisation of the banking sector. Consequently, the possibility of the reversal rate creates a novel motive for macroprudential policy, such as a countercyclical capital buffer. The new motive emphasises the strategic complementarities between monetary and macroprudential policy.

Matthieu Bussière, Jakob de Haan, Robert Hills, 20 January 2021

Despite being a central question in international macroeconomic policy debates, there is still only limited empirical evidence on the extent to which macroprudential policy affects the transmission of monetary policy and the propagation of shocks across borders.  This column presents findings from the latest project of the International Banking Research Network. The interactions between monetary and macroprudential policies are shown to significantly alter cross-border bank flows across a wide range of countries, though the magnitudes differ appreciably across countries and instruments.

Luis Brandao-Marques, Gaston Gelos, Machiko Narita, Erlend Nier, 24 July 2020

There is no consensus in the literature on the optimal use of macroprudential policy to ‘lean against’ financial vulnerabilities. This column introduces a new empirical approach to study the effects of both macroprudential and monetary policies in response to looser financial conditions. It finds that tighter macroprudential policies can be very effective in mitigating emerging vulnerabilities, mainly by reducing the future volatility of output. In addition, such tightening is best accompanied by looser, not tighter, monetary policy.

Manuel A. Muñoz, 03 July 2020

According to the evidence, banks in the euro area are particularly reluctant to cut back on dividends during economic recessions. That is, the bulk of the adjustment in the face of negative shocks that hit bank profits is borne by undistributed net income. This column argue that this pattern can notably exacerbate the impact of a negative supply shock such as the COVID-19 pandemic on bank lending and economic activity. Using a macro-banking DSGE model calibrated to quarterly data of the euro area economy, it concludes that restricting dividend distributions has the potential to significantly improve the effectiveness of the countercyclical capital buffer release in ensuring that banks keep funding households and firms during the COVID-19 crisis.

Gabriele Cozzi, Matthieu Darracq Pariès, Peter Karadi, Jenny Körner, Christoffer Kok, Falk Mazelis, Kalin Nikolov, Elena Rancoita, Alejandro Van der Ghote, Julien Weber, 03 March 2020

Following the financial crisis, central banks and regulatory authorities assumed new powers to set macroprudential bank capital requirements. This column describes a number of macro models used by the ECB to measure the real impact of capital requirements and their interactions with monetary policy. It warns that a weaker banking system amplifies the impact of monetary policy and contributes to economic instability. Banks’ capital buffers are best augmented during times of affluence, when looser monetary policy can mitigate the costs of increasing capital requirements.

Aerdt Houben, Janko Cizel, Jon Frost, Peter Wierts, 05 November 2019

Macroprudential policies are being implemented around the globe. A key question is whether these policies prompt substitution toward the non-bank financial sector. This column presents compelling evidence of such ‘waterbed effects’ after macroprudential policy action. Substitution towards non-bank credit is stronger when policy measures applied to banks are binding and are implemented in countries with well-developed financial markets. While systemic risks may nonetheless decline, waterbed effects highlight the importance of developing macroprudential policies beyond banking. 

Marcin Bielecki, Michał Brzoza-Brzezina, Marcin Kolasa, Krzysztof Makarski, 18 September 2019

The boom-bust cycle in the euro area periphery has almost toppled the euro. This column suggests that region-specific macroprudential policy could have substantially smoothed the credit cycle in the periphery and reduced the build-up of external imbalances. In contrast, common monetary policy could have stabilised output in both the periphery and the core slightly better, but it would have been incapable of significantly influencing either housing markets or the periphery’s trade balance. The column also offers policy guidelines in case internal imbalances should arise again in the euro area. 

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The European Central Bank is organising the fourth annual macroprudential policy and research conference, which will take place in the afternoon on 16 December and all day on 17 December 2019 in Frankfurt am Main.

The aim of the conference is to encourage interaction between research and policy practice in the area of macroprudential regulation.

Programme for the 2018 conference

In 2019 the conference will focus on the interaction between macroprudential policy and monetary policy. It will also cover topics such as the following:

  • the impact, implementation and evaluation of macroprudential regulation and policy
  • the coordination of macroprudential policies across countries
  • the future of banking and financial markets, and their stability, in the context of new macroprudential regulations
  • liquidity regulations, countercyclical capital buffers and their interaction

Jeremy Stein (Harvard University) will deliver a keynote speech.

Submission of papers

Please submit full papers in PDF to [email protected] by 20 September 2019. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 9 October 2019.

Adrian Alter, Gaston Gelos, Heedon Kang, Machiko Narita, Erlend Nier, 03 April 2019

The IMF’s new iMaPP database integrates five major existing databases to build a comprehensive picture of macroprudential policies in use globally. This column shows how this rich dataset provides novel insights into the non-linear effects of changes in loan-to-value limits as one example of how better data can help policymakers to use macroprudential tools more precisely and effectively.

David Martinez-Miera, Rafael Repullo, 27 March 2019

Various factors have been advanced as possible causes of the build-up of risks leading to the Global Crisis, and multiple policies have been put forward to address them. This column discusses the effectiveness of monetary policy and macroprudential policy in responding to the build-up of risks in the financial sector. While both policies are useful, macroprudential policy is more effective in terms of financial stability and can lead to higher welfare gains.

Jane Kelly, Julia Le Blanc, Reamonn Lydon, 25 November 2018

Loan-to-value limits and other borrower-based macroprudential measures are now used in two-thirds of advanced economies. This column uses survey data to document changes in credit standards in a cross-section of countries in the run-up to, and aftermath of, the financial crisis. There is clear evidence of laxer credit standards in countries that experienced a real estate boom-bust, and a significant tightening after the bust. The results imply that compared to earlier years, younger and lower-income borrowers have to save for longer before buying.

Björn Richter, Moritz Schularick, Ilhyock Shim, 21 September 2018

Central banks have increasingly relied on macroprudential measures to manage the financial cycle, but their effects on the core objectives of monetary policy to stabilise output and inflation are largely unknown. This column shows that the output costs of changes in maximum loan-to-value ratios are rather small, especially in advanced economies. At the same time, such policies successfully reduce household and mortgage credit growth. The results suggest that central banks could be in a position to use macroprudential instruments to manage financial booms without interfering with the core objectives of monetary policy in a major way. 

Eugenio Cerutti, Stijn Claessens, Luc Laeven, 18 September 2018

The Global Crisis was a catalyst for the adoption of macroprudential policies around the world. Using newly updated data, this column examines the adoption of macroprudential policy instruments from 2000 to 2017. Since 2015, advanced economies have on average been using more instruments than emerging economies and low-income countries. While some instruments seem to be effective, it remains to be seen whether this suite of policies can deliver overall financial stability.

Jon Danielsson, Robert Macrae, 12 September 2018

Financial policy is determined in multiple domains by separate government authorities. This column explores the hierarchical ranking of these domains and authorities. On top is the authority in charge of fiscal policy, followed by those running monetary, microprudential, and finally macroprudential policies. This ranking can cause conflicts in terms of policy effectiveness and legitimacy.

Jon Danielsson, 03 July 2018

Jin Cao, Valeriya Dinger, 03 May 2018

The effectiveness of monetary policy in dictating banking activities is one of the keys to understanding how efficient monetary policy is in tuning the real economy. This column uses data on Norwegian banks to show that efficiency may be eroded by international financial flows in a small open economy. This raises several challenges for central banks and financial regulatory agencies in such economies.

Irina Stanga, Razvan Vlahu, Jakob de Haan, 15 March 2018

Mortgage delinquency triggered the liquidity crisis that turned into the Global Crisis. Ten years on, mortgage lending still accounts for a large share of both household debt and banks’ assets. This column examines the incidence of mortgage arrears using a dataset for 26 countries from 2000 to 2014. The results show that higher unemployment is associated with an increase in defaults, while higher house prices have a strong negative association with defaults. The analysis suggests that dealing effectively with mortgage default requires a mix of prudential regulation and institutional design improvements.

Natalia Tente, Natalja von Westernhagen, Ulf Slopek, 06 December 2017

Regulators are still debating the amount of capital needed to support bank losses in a financial crisis. This column presents a new, pragmatic stress-testing tool that can answer the question under macroeconomic stress scenarios. The method models inter-sector and inter-country dependence structures between banks in a holistic, top-down supervisory framework. A test of 12 major German banks as of 2013 suggests that while there is enough capital in the system as a whole, capital allocation among the banks is not optimal.

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