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

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  • Sarlin, Peter
  • Ramsay, Bruce A.

Abstract

This paper introduces the ratio of debt to cash flow (D/CF) of nations and their economic sectors to macroprudential analysis, particularly as an indicator of systemic risk and vulnerabilities. While leverage is oftentimes linked to the vulnerability of a nation, the stock of total debt and the flow of gross savings is a less explored measure. Cash flows certainly have a well-known connection to corporations' ability to service debt. This paper investigates whether the D/CF provides a means for understanding systemic risks. For a panel of 33 nations, we explore historic D/CF trends, and apply the same procedure to economic sectors. In terms of an early-warning indicator, we show that the D/CF ratio provides a useful additional measure of vulnerability to systemic banking and sovereign crises, relative to more conventional indicators. As a conceptual framework, the assessment of financial stability is arranged for presentation within four vulnerability zones, and exemplified with a number of illustrative case studies. JEL Classification: E21, F34, G01, H63

Suggested Citation

  • Sarlin, Peter & Ramsay, Bruce A., 2015. "Ending over-lending: assessing systemic risk with debt to cash flow," Working Paper Series 1769, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20151769
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rochelle M. Edge & Ralf R. Meisenzahl, 2011. "The Unreliability of Credit-to-GDP Ratio Gaps in Real Time: Implications for Countercyclical Capital Buffers," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(4), pages 261-298, December.
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    3. Peter Sarlin, 2014. "Macroprudential oversight, risk communication and visualization," Papers 1404.4550, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2014.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Giudici & Laura Parisi, 2016. "CoRisk: measuring systemic risk through default probability contagion," DEM Working Papers Series 116, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    2. Mirna Dumičić, 2016. "Financial Stability Indicators – The Case of Croatia," Journal of Central Banking Theory and Practice, Central bank of Montenegro, vol. 5(1), pages 113-140.
    3. Paolo Giudici & Laura Parisi, 2015. "Modeling Systemic Risk with Correlated Stochastic Processes," DEM Working Papers Series 110, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    4. Lafuente Luengo, Juan Ángel & Serrano Jiménez, Pedro José & Petit, Nuria, 2017. "Dissecting interbank risk," DEE - Working Papers. Business Economics. WB 24553, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía de la Empresa.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    debt to cash flow; early-warning indicator; systemic risk; total debt to gross savings;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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