Working Paper Series : Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability
Atypical behavior of credit: evidence from a monetary VAR
- Credit boom detection methodologies (such as threshold method) lack robustness as they are based on univariate detrending analysis and resort to ratios of credit to real activity. I propose a quantitative indicator to detect atypical behavior of credit from a multivariate system - a monetary VAR. This methodology explicitly accounts for endogenous interactions between credit, asset prices and real activity and detects atypical credit expansions and contractions in the Euro Area, Japan and the U.S. robustly and timely. The analysis also proves useful in real time.
Estimating the European Central Bank's "Extended Period of Time"
- On July 4, 2013 the ECB Governing Council provided more specific forward guidance than in the past by stating that it expects ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time. As explained by ECB President Mario Draghi this expectation is based on the Council’s medium-term outlook for inflation conditional on economic activity and money and credit. Draghi also stressed that there is no precise deadline for this extended period of time, but that a reasonable period can be estimated by extracting a reaction function. In this note, we use such a reaction function, namely the interest rate rule from Orphanides and Wieland (2013) that matches past ECB interest rate decisions quite well, to project the rate path consistent with inflation and growth forecasts from the survey of professional forecasters published by the ECB on August 8, 2013. This evaluation suggests an increase in ECB interest rates by May 2014 at the latest. We also use the Eurosystem staff projection from June 6, 2013 for comparison. While it would imply a longer period of low rates, it does not match past ECB decisions as well as the reaction function with SPF forecasts.
The Single Supervisory Mechanism - Panacea or Quack Banking Regulation? : preliminary assessment of the evolving regime for the prudential supervision of banks with ECB involvement
- This paper analyzes the evolving architecture for the prudential supervision of banks in the euro area. It is primarily concerned with the likely effectiveness of the SSM as a regime that intends to bolster financial stability in the steady state. By using insights from the political economy of bureaucracy it finds that the SSM is overly focused on sharp tools to discipline captured national supervisors and thus underincentives their top-level personnel to voluntarily contribute to rigid supervision. The success of the SSM in this regard will hinge on establishing a common supervisory culture that provides positive incentives for national supervisors. In this regard, the internal decision making structure of the ECB in supervisory matters provides some integrative elements. Yet, the complex procedures also impede swift decision making and do not solve the problem adequately. Ultimately, a careful design and animation of the ECB-defined supervisory framework and the development of inter-agency career opportunities will be critical.
The ECB will become a de facto standard setter that competes with the EBA. A likely standoff in the EBA’s Board of Supervisors will lead to a growing gap in regulatory integration between SSM-participants and other EU Member States.
Joining the SSM as a non-euro area Member State is unattractive because the current legal framework grants no voting rights in the ECB’s ultimate decision making body. It also does not supply a credible commitment opportunity for Member States who seek to bond to high quality supervision.
Dealing with a liquidity trap when government debt matters: optimal time-consistent monetary and fiscal policy
- How does the need to preserve government debt sustainability affect the optimal monetary and fiscal policy response to a liquidity trap? To provide an answer, we employ a small stochastic New Keynesian model with a zero bound on nominal interest rates and characterize optimal time-consistent stabilization policies. We focus on two policy tools, the short-term nominal interest rate and debt-financed government spending. The optimal policy response to a liquidity trap critically depends on the prevailing debt burden. While the optimal amount of government spending is decreasing in the level of outstanding government debt, future monetary policy is becoming more accommodative, triggering a change in private sector expectations that helps to dampen the fall in output and inflation at the outset of the liquidity trap.
The European Central Bank’s outright monetary transactions and the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
- This note reviews the legal issues and concerns that are likely to play an important role in the ongoing deliberations of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany concerning the legality of ECB government bond purchases such as those conducted in the context of its earlier Securities Market Programme or potential future Outright Monetary Transactions.
Konzernverantwortung in der aufsichtsunterworfenen Finanzbranche
- Das Banken- und Versicherungsaufsichtsrecht benennt an mehreren Stellen ausdrücklich gruppenbezogene Pflichten des übergeordneten Unternehmens. Deren Realisierbarkeit hängt von gesellschafts-, insbesondere konzernrechtlichen Schranken ab, die für die Einflussnahme auf nachgeordnete Gruppenunternehmen bestehen. Der vorliegende Beitrag betrachtet das Zusammenspiel von Aufsichts- und Gesellschaftsrecht unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der regelungstragenden Ziele des ersteren. Die Gruppenverantwortung ist in dieser Sicht ein Institut, das zur Verwirklichung eines klar umrissenen, öffentlichen Interesses an der Befolgung bestimmter Normen das übergeordnete Unternehmen als interne Kontrollinstanz in die Pflicht nimmt und mit gruppendimensionalen Handlungspflichten belegt. Zur Gewährleistung der Effektivität dieses Instituts ist ein sektoral begrenzter Vorrang der aufsichtsrechtlichen Vorgaben anzuerkennen. Dieser ist durch die angemessene Berücksichtigung des mit dem Aufsichtsrecht verfolgten, öffentlichen Interesses als normativer Determinante der Leitungstätigkeit aller gruppenangehörigen Institute zu verwirklichen.
Fiscal consolidation strategy: an update for the budget reform proposal of march 2013
John F. Cogan
John B. Taylor
Maik Hendrik Wolters
- Recently, we evaluated a fiscal consolidation strategy for the United States that would bring the government budget into balance by gradually reducing government spending relative to GDP to the ratio that prevailed prior to the crisis (Cogan et al, JEDC 2013). Specifically, we published an analysis of the macroeconomic consequences of the 2013 Budget Resolution that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2012. In this note, we provide an update of our research that evaluates this year’s budget reform proposal that is to be discussed and voted on in the House of Representative in March 2013. Contrary to the views voiced by critics of fiscal consolidation, we show that such a reduction in government purchases and transfer payments can increase GDP immediately and permanently relative to a policy without spending restraint. Our research makes use of a modern structural model of the economy that incorporates the long-standing essential features of economics: opportunity costs, efficiency, foresight and incentives. GDP rises because households take into account that spending restraint helps avoid future increases in tax rates. Lower taxes imply less distorted incentives for work, investment and production relative to a scenario without fiscal consolidation and lead to higher growth.
Optimal monetary policy and firm entry
- This paper characterises optimal monetary policy in an economy with endogenous
firm entry, a cash-in-advance constraint and preset wages. Firms must make pro
fits to cover entry costs; thus the markup on goods prices is efficient. However, because leisure is not priced at a markup, the consumption-leisure tradeoff is distorted. Consequently, the real wage, hours and production are suboptimally low. Due to the labour requirement in entry, insufficient labour supply also implies that entry is too low. The paper shows that in the absence of
fiscal instruments such as labour income subsidies, the optimal monetary policy under sticky wages achieves higher welfare than under flexible wages. The policy maker uses the money supply instrument to raise the real wage - the cost of leisure - above its flexible-wage level, in response to expansionary shocks to productivity and entry costs. This raises labour supply, expanding production and
The competition effect in business cycles
- How do changes in market structure affect the US business cycle? We estimate a monetary DSGE model with endogenous
rm/product entry and a translog expenditure function by Bayesian methods. The dynamics of net business formation allow us to identify the 'competition effect', by which desired price markups and inflation decrease when entry rises. We
find that a 1 percent increase in the number of competitors lowers desired markups by 0.18 percent. Most of the cyclical variability in inflation is driven by markup fluctuations due to sticky prices or exogenous shocks rather than endogenous changes in desired markups.
Organizational choices of banks and the effective supervision of transnational financial institutions
- This paper outlines relatively easy to implement reforms for the supervision of
transnational banking-groups in the E.U. that should not be primarily based on legal form
but on the actual risk structures of the pertinent financial institutions. The proposal also
aims at paying close attention to the economics of public administration and international
relations in allocating competences among national and supranational supervisory bodies.
Before detailing the own proposition, this paper looks into the relationship between
sovereign debt and banking crises that drive regulatory reactions to the financial turmoil in
the Euro area. These initiatives inter alia affirm effective prudential supervision as a pivotal
element of crisis prevention.
In order to arrive at a more informed idea, which determinants apart from a perceived
appetite for regulatory arbitrage drive banks’ organizational choices, this paper scrutinizes
the merits of either a branch or subsidiary structure for the cross-border business of
financial institutions. In doing so, it also considers the policy-makers perspective. The analysis
shows that no one size fits all organizational structure is available and concludes that
banks’ choices should generally not be second-guessed, particularly because they are subject
to (some) market discipline.
The analysis proceeds with describing and evaluating how competences in prudential
supervision are currently allocated among national and supranational supervisory authorities.
In order to assess the findings the appraisal adopts insights form the economics of public
administration and international relations. It argues that the supervisory architecture has to
be more aligned with bureaucrats’ incentives and that inefficient requirements to cooperate
and share information should be reduced. Contrary to a widespread perception, shifting responsibility
to a supranational authority cannot solve all the problems identified.
Resting on these foundations, the last part of this paper finally sketches an alternative
solution that dwells on far-reaching mutual recognition of national supervisory regimes
and allocates competences in line with supervisors’ incentives and the risk inherent in crossborder