- 15 November 2022
- FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLEFinancial Stability Review Issue 2, 2022Details
- Digitalisation is transforming the global economy, including by raising productivity and broadening consumer access to information. While these forces are facilitating greater competition, supporting economic growth and lowering prices, the benefits are not without risks – the flip side of digitalisation can be greater vulnerability to cyberattacks. For these to be a source of risk to financial stability, substitutability, risk correlation and interconnectedness are all key dimensions. A cyberattack on a critical infrastructure or an attack on one service that unearths vulnerabilities in another could quickly lead to system-wide stresses. Negative externalities arising from the effectiveness of financial institutions’ management of cyber risk could provide grounds for a public policy response. While the existing macroprudential policy toolkit has limited capacity to address cyber risks, their growing relevance nevertheless calls for macroprudential overseers to anticipate them, assess the capacity of the financial system to absorb them, and to issue risk warnings when warranted. In this vein, econometric evidence suggests that cyberattacks are not random, but are driven by factors such as economic strength, the degree of financial globalisation as well as policy and political uncertainty. This underscores how important it is for authorities to foster the sharing of information and the closing of data gaps on cyberattacks.
- JEL Code
- D43 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
D62 : Microeconomics→Welfare Economics→Externalities
D82 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Asymmetric and Private Information, Mechanism Design
E6 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
G22 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Insurance, Insurance Companies, Actuarial Studies
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
H41 : Public Economics→Publicly Provided Goods→Public Goods
- 31 October 2022
- WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2743Details
- Since the term was ﬁrst coined in studies on the 1990s Japanese crisis, the concept of zombiﬁcation has been investigated and revived repeatedly when concerns arise about credit misallocation and stagnating productivity growth in an economy. The starting point for these studies nearly always involves trying to identify the so-called ‘zombie’ ﬁrms. This has led in the past years to a proliferation of diﬀerent deﬁnitions and identiﬁcation methodologies. We survey the most prominent deﬁnitions, discussing advantages and limitations of each. We also undertake a comparison of methodologies on a common dataset for euro area ﬁrms from 2004-2019, with the exercise revealing limited overlap and low comparability in the ﬁrms identiﬁed by several prominent studies. In response, we introduce a formalisation of zombie-classiﬁcations which helps to make order in the growing number of variations and identiﬁcation methodologies. Moreover, this formalisation also helps extending the concept of binary identiﬁcation to that of fuzzy zombie-identiﬁcation. In particular, we introduce a general procedure to turn arbitrary binary classiﬁcations into fuzzy ones showing it successfully increases consistency between zombie deﬁnitions.
- JEL Code
- L25 : Industrial Organization→Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior→Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope
D22 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
C55 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Modeling with Large Data Sets?
O40 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→General
- 18 May 2021
- FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLEFinancial Stability Review Issue 1, 2021Details
- Policy measures aimed at supporting corporates and the economy through the coronavirus pandemic may have supported not just otherwise viable firms, but also unprofitable but still operating firms – often referred to as “zombies”. This has in turn raised questions about an increased risk of zombification in the euro area economy, which could constrain the post-pandemic recovery. Firm-level, loan-level and supervisory data for euro area companies suggest that zombie firms may have temporarily benefited from loan schemes and accommodative credit conditions – but likely only to a modest degree. These firms may face tighter eligibility criteria for schemes and more recognition of credit risk in debt and loan pricing in the future. Tackling the risk of zombification more fundamentally requires the consideration of suggested reforms to insolvency frameworks and better infrastructure for banks to manage non-performing loans.
- JEL Code
- E51 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Money Supply, Credit, Money Multipliers
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, 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
G38 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Government Policy and Regulation
L25 : Industrial Organization→Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior→Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope
- 23 November 2020
- FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOXFinancial Stability Review Issue 2, 2020Details
- The coronavirus pandemic has threatened the existence of many euro area firms. While liquidity shortages were seen as the major threat to corporate health at the beginning of the pandemic, more recently firms’ solvency has become the primary concern. Against this backdrop, this box assesses euro area corporate vulnerabilities and the underlying factors. It develops a new composite indicator that allows analysis of the time-varying impact and the relative importance of the factors driving corporate financial soundness and risk. Using aggregate sectoral accounts data, this measure combines indicators along five dimensions: debt service capacity, leverage/indebtedness, financing/rollover, profitability and activity. According to the composite indicator, corporate vulnerabilities have increased to levels last observed at the peak of the euro area sovereign debt crisis and are largely driven by a drop in sales, lower actual and expected profitability, and an increase in leverage and indebtedness. However, extensive monetary, fiscal and prudential policy measures have limited the increase in corporate vulnerability, primarily by ensuring favourable funding conditions. So far, government loan guarantees and bankruptcy moratoria have also prevented a large wave of corporate defaults, but a sizeable number of firms could be forced to file for bankruptcy if these measures are lifted too early or bank lending conditions tighten.
- JEL Code
- E6 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
G3 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance
- 25 May 2020
- FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOXFinancial Stability Review Issue 1, 2020Details
- On 27 March, ECB Banking Supervision recommended that banks refrain from paying out dividends and buying back shares until 1 October 2020, following earlier announcements of temporary capital and operational relief measures. All national authorities in the euro area had made similar requests to banks under their direct supervision. In recent years, euro area banks have increased dividend payouts and share buybacks. Had this continued under the current circumstances, it may have weakened the ability of banks to use retained earnings to absorb losses and support lending to the real economy. This box reviews patterns in global banks’ payouts to shareholders and the contribution that lower payouts may make towards improving bank resilience.