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What Drives Target2 Balances? Evidence from a Panel Analysis

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  • Raphael A. Auer

Abstract

What are the drivers of the large Target2 (T2) balances that have emerged in the European Monetary Union since the start of the financial crisis in 2007? This paper examines the extent to which the evolution of national T2 balances can be statistically associated with cross-border private capital flows and current account (CA) balances. In a quarterly panel spanning the years 1999 to 2012 and twelve countries, it is shown that while the CA and the evolution of T2 balances were unrelated until the start of the 2007 financial crisis, since then, the relation between these two variables has become statistically significant and economically sizeable. This reflects the “sudden stop” to private sector capital that funded CA imbalances beforehand. I next examine how different types of private capital flows have evolved over the last years and how this can be related to the evolution of T2 balances, finding some deposit flight by private customers, a substantial retrenchment of cross-border interbank lending, and also an increase of bank’s holdings of high-quality sovereign debt. My first conclusion from this analysis is that since T2 imbalances were caused by a sudden stop and are unlikely to grow without bounds since Euro area CA imbalances are currently diminishing at a rapid pace, there is no evidence that the institutional setup of the European Monetary Union needs to be reformed fundamentally. My second conclusion relates to how the current system transfers risks across the currency union, both in terms of risk transfer from T2 debtor to T2 creditor nations and in terms of risk transfer from the private sector to the public sector within T2 creditor nations. I evaluate existing reform proposals in the light of these risk transfers.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael A. Auer, 2013. "What Drives Target2 Balances? Evidence from a Panel Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4216, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4216
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    Cited by:

    1. Y. Kalantzis. & P. Towbin. & S. Zignago., 2014. "International adjustment and rebalancing of global demand:where do we stand?," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 33, pages 5-23, spring.
    2. Fagan, Gabriel & McNelis, Paul D., 2020. "Sudden stops in the Euro Area: Does monetary union matter?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    3. Barry Eichengreen & Arnaud J. Mehl & Livia Chițu & Gary Richardson, 2014. "Mutual Assistance between Federal Reserve Banks, 1913-1960 as Prolegomena to the TARGET2 Debate," NBER Working Papers 20267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Yannick Timmer, 2014. "Current Account Dynamics In The Euro Area," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 6(2), pages 165-191, July.
    5. Philip R. Lane, 2014. "International Financial Flows and the Irish Crisis," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(2), pages 14-19, April.
    6. Alexander Erler & Stefan Hohberger, 2016. "Editor's Choice TARGET2: How Costly is Buying Time?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 62(3), pages 491-505.
    7. Philippine Cour-Thimann, 2013. "CESifo Forum Special Issue April 2013: Target Balances and the Crisis in the Euro Area," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 0(1), pages 05-50, May.
    8. Stephen Cecchetti & Robert McCauley & Patrick McGuire, 2012. "Interpreting TARGET2 balances," BIS Working Papers 393, Bank for International Settlements.
    9. PhilippineCour-Thimann, 2013. "CESifo Forum Special Issue April 2013: Target Balances and the Crisis in the Euro Area," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 0, pages 05-50, May.
    10. Leszek Balcerowicz, 2014. "Euro Imbalances and Adjustment: A Comparative Analysis," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 34(3), pages 453-482, Fall.
    11. Martin Handig & Clemens Jobst & Doris Schneeberger, 2012. "The Cross-Border Movement of Euro Banknotes and Austria’s TARGET 2 Liabilities," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 32-52.
    12. jae sim & Raphael Schoenle & Egon Zakrajsek & Simon Gilchrist, 2015. "Financial Heterogeneity and Monetary Union," 2015 Meeting Papers 1327, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Sergio Cesaratto, 2013. "The implications of TARGET2 in the European balance of payments crisis and beyond," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 10(3), pages 359-382.
    14. Philip R. Lane, 2013. "Growth And Adjustment Challenges For The Euro Area," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(2), pages 273-295.
    15. Lane, Philip R., 2013. "Capital Flows in the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 9493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Stephen Wright & Charmaine Portelli, 2018. "The True Size of the ECB: New Insights from National Central Bank Balance Sheets," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1807, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    17. Philip R. Lane, 2014. "International Financial Flows and the Irish Crisis," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(02), pages 14-19, April.
    18. Bettendorf, Timo & Jochem, Axel, 2021. "What drives the German TARGET balances? Evidence from a BVAR approach," Discussion Papers 12/2021, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    19. Gabriel Fagan & Paul McNelis, 2014. "TARGET Balances and Macroeconomic Adjustment to Sudden Stops in the Euro Area," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp465, IIIS, revised Dec 2014.
    20. repec:bfr:bullbf:2013:195:03 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Astarita, Caterina & Purificato, Francesco, 2013. "TARGET2 imbalances and the need for a lender of last resort," MPRA Paper 51124, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012. "Target Balances and the German Financial Account in Light of the European Balance-of-Payments Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4051, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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