August 13, 2015 | Refinancing

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IFDP2015-1141: Securitization and lending standards: Evidence from the European wholesale loan market

August 13th, 2015

Alper Kara, David Marques-Ibanez, and Steven Ongena. We assess the effect of securitization activity on banks’ lending rates employing a uniquely detailed dataset from the euro-denominated syndicated loan market. We find that, in the run up to the 2007-2009 crisis banks that were more active at originating asset-backed securities did not price their loans more aggressively (i.e. with narrower lending spreads) than less-active banks. Using a unique feature of our dataset, we show that also within the set of loans that were previously securitized, the relative level of securitization activity by the originating bank is not related to narrower lending spreads. Our results suggest that while the credit cycle seems to have a major impact of lending standards, the effect of securitization activity appears to be very limited.

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IFDP2015-1140: Realized Bank Risk during the Great Recession

August 13th, 2015

Yener Altunbas, Simone Manganelli, and David Marques-Ibanez. In the years preceding the 2007-2009 financial crisis, forward-looking indicators of bank risk concentrated and suggested unusually low expectations of bank default. We assess whether the ex-ante (i.e. prior to the crisis) cross-sectional variability in bank characteristics is related to the ex-post (i.e. during the crisis) materialization of bank risk. Our tailor-made dataset crucially accounts for the different dimensions of realized bank risk including access to central bank liquidity during the crisis. We consistently find that less reliance on deposit funding, more aggressive credit growth, larger size and leverage were associated with larger levels of realized risk. The impact of these characteristics is particularly relevant for capturing the systemic dimensions of bank risk and tends to become stronger for the tail of the riskier banks. The majority of these characteristics also predicted bank risk as materialized before the financial crisis.

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Exporters’ Exposures to Currencies: Beyond the Loglinear Model

August 13th, 2015

We extend the constant-elasticity regression that is the default choice when equities’ exposure to currencies is estimated. In a proper real-option-style model for the exporters’ equity exposure to the foreign exchange rate, we argue, the convexity of the relationship implies that the elasticity should depend on the exchange rate level. For instance, it should shrink to zero when the option to export becomes worthless, and that should happen at a critical exchange rate that is still strictly positive. We propose a class of tractable multi-regime regression models featuring, in line with the real-options logic, smooth transitions and within-regime dynamics in the foreign exchange exposure. We then analyze the exchange rate exposure of Chinese exporting firms and find that the model in which the moneyness of the export option has a positive impact on the exchange rate exposure detects a significantly positive and convex exposure for 40% and 65% of the firms depending on whether the market return is included in the regression or not.

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An Experimental Examination of Portfolio Choice

August 13th, 2015

Investors do not hold optimal portfolios. We use an experimental method to isolate factors that compel individuals to hold optimal portfolios. Our design includes two risky assets with perfectly negatively correlated payoffs so that all risk can be eliminated. We find that participants’ holdings approach optimal portfolios only under very specific conditions: the variance cost of holding an imbalanced portfolio is substantial and feedback on period-by-period outcomes is suppressed (eliminating the impact of cognitive biases resulting from misperceptions of randomness).

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