Reint Gropp, Thomas Mosk, Steven Ongena, Ines Simac, Carlo Wix, 14 February 2021

The implementation of supranational regulations at the national level often provides national authorities with substantial room to engage in discretion and forbearance. Using evidence from a supranational increase in bank capital requirements, this column shows that national authorities may assist banks' efforts to inflate their regulatory capital to pass such supranational requirements. While supranational rules should be binding in theory, national discretion may effectively undermine them in practice.

Viral Acharya, Lea Borchert, Maximilian Jager, Sascha Steffen, 10 August 2020

During the 2008/09 global financial crisis, European governments bailed out a large number of banks that were severely affected by the crisis. This column documents how the design of the bailout policy was determined by the fiscal capacity of the respective country. Fiscally weak countries recapitalised banks insufficiently, causing undercapitalised banks to shift their assets from loans to risky sovereign debt and engage in zombie lending, resulting in weaker overall credit supply, elevated risk in the banking sector, and, eventually, greater reliance on liquidity support from the ECB. Kicking the can down the road in 2008/09 thus sowed the seeds of the future banking crisis. These results have potential implications for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as, if the economic situation further deteriorates, banking sector stability is likely to be adversely affected.

Thorsten Beck, 10 November 2014

The ECB has published the results of its asset quality review and stress tests of Eurozone banks. This column argues that, while this process had clear shortcomings, it still constitutes a huge improvement over the three previous exercises in the EU. Nevertheless, the banking union is far from complete, and the biggest risk now is complacency. A long-term reform agenda awaits Europe.

CEPR Policy Research