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Lessons from the European financial crisis

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  • Pagano, Marco

Abstract

This paper distils three lessons for bank regulation from the experience of the 2009-12 euro-area financial crisis. First, it highlights the key role that sovereign debt exposures of banks have played in the feedback loop between bank and fiscal distress, and inquires how the regulation of banks' sovereign exposures in the euro area should be changed to mitigate this feedback loop in the future. Second, it explores the relationship between the forbearance of non-performing loans by European banks and the tendency of EU regulators to rescue rather than resolving distressed banks, and asks to what extent the new regulatory framework of the euro-area "banking union" can be expected to mitigate excessive forbearance and facilitate resolution of insolvent banks. Finally, the paper highlights that capital requirements based on the ratio of Tier-1 capital to banks' risk-weighted assets were massively gamed by large banks, which engaged in various forms of regulatory arbitrage to minimize their capital charges while expanding leverage. This argues in favor of relying on a set of simpler and more robust indicators to determine banks' capital shortfall, such as book and market leverage ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • Pagano, Marco, 2014. "Lessons from the European financial crisis," CFS Working Paper Series 486, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:486
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sigridur Benediktsdottir & Jon Danielsson & Gylfi Zoega, 2011. "Lessons from a collapse of a financial system," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(66), pages 183-231, April.
    2. Niccolò Battistini & Marco Pagano & Saverio Simonelli, 2014. "Systemic risk, sovereign yields and bank exposures in the euro crisis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(78), pages 203-251, April.
    3. Acharya, Viral V. & Schnabl, Philipp & Suarez, Gustavo, 2013. "Securitization without risk transfer," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 515-536.
    4. Danielsson, Jon, 2002. "The emperor has no clothes: Limits to risk modelling," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 1273-1296, July.
    5. Viral Acharya & Itamar Drechsler & Philipp Schnabl, 2014. "A Pyrrhic Victory? Bank Bailouts and Sovereign Credit Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(6), pages 2689-2739, December.
    6. Buch, Claudia M. & Koetter, Michael & Ohls, Jana, 2016. "Banks and sovereign risk: A granular view," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-15.
    7. Behn, Markus Wilhelm & Haselmann, Rainer & Vig, Vikrant, 2014. "The limits of model-based regulation," IMFS Working Paper Series 82, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS).
    8. Beltratti, Andrea & Paladino, Giovanna, 2013. "Why do banks optimize risk weights? The relevance of the cost of equity capital," MPRA Paper 46410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Hyun Song Shin, 2012. "Global Banking Glut and Loan Risk Premium," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(2), pages 155-192, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank regulation; euro; financial crisis; sovereign exposures; forbearance; bank resolution; bank capital requirements;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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