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Ending over-lending : Assessing systemic risk with debt to cash flow

Listed author(s):
  • Sarlin, Peter
  • Ramsay, Bruce A.
Registered author(s):

    This paper operationalizes early theoretical contributions of Hyman Minsky and applies these in the context of economic sectors and nations. Following the view of boom-bust asset cycles, depicted by the endogenous build-up of risks and their abrupt unraveling, Minsky highlighted the relationship between debt obligations and cash flows. While leverage is oftentimes linked to the vulnerability of a nation, and hence systemic risk, one less explored measure of leverage is the debt-to-cash flow ratio (Debt/CF). Cash flows certainly have a well-known, academically verified connection to the ability of corporations to service and repay corporate debt. This paper investigates whether the relationship between the flow of a nation's savings to its stock of total debt provides a means for understanding systemic risks. For a panel of 33 nations, we explore historic Debt/CF trends, as well as apply the same procedure to individual economic sectors. This assessment of systemic risk is arranged for presentation within a four-zone framework. In terms of an early-warning indicator, we show that the Debt/CF ratio e effectively stratifies systemic risks, and offers a useful platform toward macro-financial sustainability. Keywords: debt-to-cash flow, debt-to-gross saving, systemic risk, four-zone framework JEL codes: E210, F340, G010, H630

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    File URL: https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/bitstream/123456789/7470/1/173451.pdf
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    Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 11/2014.

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    Date of creation: 03 Apr 2014
    Handle: RePEc:bof:bofrdp:2014_011
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland

    Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/

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    1. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
    2. Drehmann, Mathias & Juselius, Mikael, 2014. "Evaluating early warning indicators of banking crises: Satisfying policy requirements," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 759-780.
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    7. Mathias Drehmann & Mikael Juselius, 2012. "Do debt service costs affect macroeconomic and financial stability?," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
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    9. Ilia D. Dichev, 2002. "Large-Sample Evidence on the Debt Covenant Hypothesis," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 1091-1123, September.
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    11. Amir Sufi, 2009. "Bank Lines of Credit in Corporate Finance: An Empirical Analysis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 1057-1088, March.
    12. Jong Lee & Jaemin Ryu & Dimitrios Tsomocos, 2013. "Measures of systemic risk and financial fragility in Korea," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 757-786, November.
    13. Alessi, Lucia & Detken, Carsten, 2011. "Quasi real time early warning indicators for costly asset price boom/bust cycles: A role for global liquidity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 520-533, September.
    14. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2010. "The Great Recession: Lessons from Microeconomic Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 51-56, May.
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    16. Lance Taylor, 2008. "A foxy hedgehog: Wynne Godley and macroeconomic modelling," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(4), pages 639-663, July.
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