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Do we want these two to tango? On zombie firms and stressed banks in Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Storz, Manuela
  • Koetter, Michael
  • Setzer, Ralph
  • Westphal, Andreas

Abstract

We show that the speed and type of corporate deleveraging depends on the interaction between corporate and financial sector health. Based on granular bank-firm data pertaining to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) from five stressed and two non-stressed euro area economies, we show that “zombie” firms generally continued to lever up during the 2010–2014 period. Whereas relationships with stressed banks reduce SME leverage on average, we also show that zombie firms that are tied to weak banks in euro area periphery countries increase their indebtedness even further. Sustainable economic recovery therefore requires both: deleveraging of banks and firms. JEL Classification: E44, G21, G32

Suggested Citation

  • Storz, Manuela & Koetter, Michael & Setzer, Ralph & Westphal, Andreas, 2017. "Do we want these two to tango? On zombie firms and stressed banks in Europe," Working Paper Series 2104, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20172104
    Note: 2436858
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank stress; debt overhang; zombie lending;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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