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Real Estate and the Credit Crunch - The Federal Reserve Bank of ...

Declining real estate values have shaken financial markets, undermined consumer confidence, and slowed economic growth around the world. From homeowners in California to billionaire real estate developers operating in New York, London, and Tokyo, all have seen their net worth dwindle as real estate prices have fallen. Sizable holdings of nonperforming real estate imperil the financial health of stodgy New England banks, aggressively managed Southwestern thrifts, and even the financial giants of Japan. Direct investors in real estate are not the only ones adversely affected by declining real estate values. Capital-impaired banks and insurance companies may be less willing to make loans. U.S. taxpayers may be required to ante up for real estate bets lost by federally insured institutions, while in other countries governments work behind the scenes to shore up their financial institutions. And everyone suffers from the drag on the economy that these real estate losses have exerted. In the fall of 1992 the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston convened a conference on "Real Estate and the Credit Crunch" to explore the causes of these real estate problems and their implications for financial institutions and public policy. The focus was real estate developments in the United States, but the discussion extended the topic to the world economy. The conference consisted of six sessions. The first two examined the causes of the fluctuations in real estate markets in the 1980s, focusing on housing prices and on commercial construction and real estate values. *Vice President and Deputy Director of Research for Regional Affairs, and Vice President and Economist, respectively, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

The credit crunch and firm growth in the euro area

This paper explores the effects of bank credit on firm growth before and after the recent financial crisis outbreak, taking into account different structural characteristics of the banking sector and the domestic economy. The econometric method of panel quantiles is used on a large sample of 2075 firms operating in the euro area (17 countries) for the period 2005-2011. The main results of this paper indicate a strong dependence of firm growth on credit expansion before the crisis. However, post-2008, the credit crunch seems to seriously affect only slow-growth firms and especially those operating in domestic bank-dominated economies. Furthermore, the classification of firms in groups by size yields interesting results: the credit crunch exhibits a strong impact on small firms only. Separate estimates for more and less financially developed economies show that the credit crunch matters mainly in countries with a lower degree of financial development. Moreover, our findings reveal that the degree of banking concentration affects firm growth in a negative way in most estimates. Finally, risk and financial stability matter for firm growth for the total sample and for domestic bank-dominated economies, while in general they do not matter when markets are dominated by foreign banks. Keywords: Credit Crunch; Firm Growth; Foreign Bank Penetration; Banking Concentration; Financial Crisis; Panel Quantile Regressions; Financial Development JEL classification: E51; L25; L10; G21 Acknowledgments: Thanks are due to Heather Gibson and participants at the EARIE 2013 and ASSET 2013 conferences for many useful and insightful comments and suggestions. Correspondence: Helen Louri Bank of Greece, 21 E. Venizelos Ave., 10250 Athens, Greece. Tel.: +30 210 320 2007 Email:

SMEs and the credit crunch: Current financing difficulties ... - OECD

After a brief overview of current financing difficulties for SMEs and policy measures to support SME lending during the crisis, this article presents a literature review related to difficulties in SME’s access to finance during the crisis, against a background of a sharp decline in bank profitability and an erosion of bank capital that negatively affected lending. The articles reviewed are classified according to four main issues of interest: the impairment of the bank-credit channel and its economic effects; factors potentially attenuating the effect of a financial squeeze; the role of global banking in mitigating but also transmitting financial shocks; and, looking ahead, issues related to so-called “credit-less recoveries” that should be relevant in guiding policy makers in the current environment of financial deleveraging. All the results hold important implications for policy making given the bail-outs and the large injections of liquidity by central banks during the crisis. JEL classification: G01, G21, G28 Keywords: Financial crisis, SME finance, bank lending, credit crunch * Gert Wehinger is a senior economist in the Financial Affairs Division of the OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs. This article is an abbreviated and revised version of a paper prepared for the meeting of the OECD Committee on Financial Markets (CMF) on 17-18 October 2013. It benefitted from the discussions at that meeting and at the meeting of the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (WPSMEE) on 22-23 October 2013, where parts of the paper were presented,...

Credit Crunch.indd - Adam Smith Institute

• In the period 1997-2001, the British economy functioned well. Although some mistakes were made, Gordon Brown largely stuck to his self-imposed doctrine of prudence. • The period 2001-2006 was characterised by ultra-loose money, reinforced by a sloppy fiscal stance, as Brown prioritised building up his political power base over the stability of the public finances. • Throughout these boom years, banks such as Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester adopted aggressive business models based on selling securitised mortgages and borrowing short-term from the money markets to finance new lending. The easy credit this approach engendered is what drove Britain’s house price bubble. • By 2007, it was clear to the authorities that they had overdone the cheap credit binge. From January to July that year, the Bank of England raised interest rates from 4.75% to 5.75%. However, market rates soon diverged substantially from the base rate, reaching 6.9% in early September, as the money markets ran dangerously short on cash. • Instead of doing anything to reverse this severe and sudden monetary tightening, the government and the Bank of England decided to publicly lecture the banks on moral hazard. Rumours began to circulate that those banks which depended on short-term borrowing from the money markets were in trouble – but the government continued to grandstand. • Northern Rock was in the worst position, and required emergency help from the Bank of England. The Bank should have extended a loan to Northern

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Developing a framework for effective financial crisis management

Public confidence plays an important role in sustaining financial system stability. In normal times the regulation and supervision of banks, the promotion and use of standards of sound business and financial practice, central bank actions, explicit deposit protection and an effective bank closure mechanism all help to reduce the adverse consequences of a financial crisis emanating from bank failures. It is understood that banks, like other firms, will fail1 and the likelihood of this happening is higher when risks in a particular banking concern are not managed appropriately, bubbles in certain markets burst or financial markets are very fragile due to either domestic or foreign reasons. In almost all circumstances private sector solutions, such as rights issues or mergers, should be pursued in the first instance to deal with problem or failing banks, as in most cases they can limit the pressure on the financial system safety net (FSN). However, when problems become systemic governments tend to play a much more active role and call upon the agencies that make up the FSN to undertake extraordinary measures. Intervention can take a variety of forms. As such, there is a clear need for officials to undertake coherent contingency planning, financial risk assessment and crisis management. A significant development on that front has been the introduction of financial stability forums in the form of committees in individual countries to oversee agencies within the official safety net and improve how they govern macro-prudential and micro-prudential issues (Nier et al 2011).2 However, financial stability committees are not new and the reinvigoration of a formal oversight body is unlikely to fulfil all that is expected of it. This gives rise to an expectations gap, which we explore.

crisis management and bank resolution - IMF

This Technical Note on Crisis Management and Bank Resolution Framework on Canada was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country. It is based on the information available at the time it was completed in February 2014. The policy of publication of staff reports and other documents by the IMF allows for the deletion of market-sensitive information. Copies of this report are available to the public from International Monetary Fund  Publication Services 700 19th Street, N.W.  Washington, D.C. 20431 Telephone: (202) 623-7430  Telefax: (202) 623-7201 E-mail: Internet: Price: $18.00 a copy International Monetary Fund Washington, D.C. © 2014 International Monetary Fund This Technical Note was prepared by IMF staff in the context of the Financial Sector Assessment Program in Canada. It contains technical analysis and detailed information underpinning the FSAP’s findings and recommendations.

Crisis Management and Resolution: Early Lessons from the ... - IMF

This paper compares the policy choices in recent and past crises, explains why those choices varied, and assesses the current state of financial and operational restructuring and institutional reform. While acknowledging the unique and global nature of the recent crisis and varying country circumstances, analysis suggests that the diagnosis and repair of financial institutions and overall asset restructuring are much less advanced than they should be at this stage and that moral hazard has increased. Consequently, vulnerabilities in the global financial system remain considerable and continue to threaten the sustainability of the recovery. These conclusions point to a number of steps to finish the business of financial sector repair and reform. Establishing the long-term viability of the financial system requires recognizing nonperforming assets at financial institutions and a deeper operational restructuring of debts of enterprises and households. Regarding the persistent weaknesses in bank balance sheets, in-depth diagnoses still need to be conducted, including through strict and transparent stress tests. When the diagnoses call for credible recapitalization plans or restructuring of liabilities, they should be carried out swiftly in ways that do not worsen sovereign debt burdens. Conditions in some countries require government interventions, including targeted programs to alleviate debt overhangs in the household and commercial real estate sectors. More broadly, asset restructuring needs to be driven by market forces, supported by tighter...

The new EU framework for financial crisis management and resolution

The work to improve bank crisis management and resolution frameworks is ongoing in several jurisdictions worldwide after the financial crisis revealed serious shortcomings in the respective regimes. The development of an effective framework is particularly challenging in the EU. This complexity arises owing to the objective of achieving stability in a highly integrated financial system, where the competent authorities maintain their fiduciary responsibility towards the respective national taxpayers. This article provides an overview of the current European initiatives to meet this challenge, presenting an assessment from a central banking perspective. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the major overhaul of the regulatory framework – both at the global and the EU level – consists of several different elements. Much of the reform focuses on crisis prevention, with a view to preventing serious problems from emerging in the financial sector. This includes, inter alia, regulatory steps to improve the supervision of the financial sector (e.g. by reinforcing macroprudential oversight), to strengthen the overall resilience of banks (e.g. Basel III), to bring currently unregulated or under-regulated sectors under the scope of regulation (e.g. work related to shadow banking) and to reduce opaqueness in some financial transactions (e.g. central clearing of OTC derivatives).

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