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Stephan Sauer

13 October 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 284
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Abstract
The in-house credit assessment systems (ICASs) developed by euro area national central banks (NCBs) are an important source of credit risk assessment within the Eurosystem collateral framework. They allow counterparties to mobilise as collateral the loans (credit claims) granted to non-financial corporations (NFCs). In this way, ICASs increase the usability of non-marketable credit claims that are normally not accepted as collateral in private market repo transactions, especially for small and medium-sized banks that lend primarily to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This ultimately leads not only to a widened collateral base and an improved transmission mechanism of monetary policy, but also to a lower reliance on external sources of credit risk assessment such as rating agencies. The importance of ICASs is exemplified by the collateral easing measures adopted in April 2020 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The measures supported the greater use of credit claim collateral and, indirectly, increased the prevalence of ICASs as a source of collateral assessment. This paper analyses in detail the role of ICASs in the context of the Eurosystem’s credit operations, describing the relevant Eurosystem guidelines and requirements in terms of, among other factors, the estimation of default probabilities, the role of statistical models versus expert analysis, input data, validation analysis and performance monitoring. It then presents the main features of each of the ICASs currently accepted by the Eurosystem as credit assessment systems, highlighting similarities and differences.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 273
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Abstract
The last review of the ECB’s monetary policy strategy in 2003 followed a period of predominantly upside risks to price stability. Experience following the 2008 financial crisis has focused renewed attention on the question of how monetary and fiscal policy should best interact, in particular in an environment of structurally low interest rates and persistent downside risks to price stability. This debate has been further intensified by the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the euro area, the unique architecture of a monetary union consisting of sovereign Member States, with cross-country heterogeneities and weaknesses in its overall construction, poses important challenges. Against this background, this report revisits monetary-fiscal policy interactions in the euro area from a monetary policy perspective and with a focus on the ramifications for price stability and maintaining central bank independence and credibility. The report consists of three parts. The first chapter presents a conceptual framework for thinking about monetary-fiscal policy interactions, thereby setting the stage for a discussion of specifically euro area aspects and challenges in subsequent parts of the report. In particular, it reviews the main ingredients of the pre-global financial crisis consensus on monetary-fiscal policy interactions and addresses significant new insights and refinements which have gained prominence since 2003. In doing so, the chapter distinguishes between general conceptual aspects – i.e. those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and a single fiscal authority and those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and many fiscal authorities (a multi-country monetary union). ...
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
F45 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
30 July 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2579
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Abstract
We use a unique dataset of ratings for euro area corporate loans from commercial banks’ internal rating-based (IRBs) systems and central banks’ in-house credit assessment systems (ICASs) to investigate whether banks’ IRB ratings underestimate the credit risk of their corporate loan portfolios when the latter are used as collateral in the Eurosystem’s monetary policy operations. We are able to identify systematic risk underestimation by comparing the IRB ratings with those produced for the same borrowers by the ICASs. Our results show that while they are on average more conservative than ICASs for the entire population of rated corporate loans, IRBs are significantly less conservative than ICASs for those loans that are actually used as Eurosystem collateral, particularly for large loans. The less conservative estimates of risk by IRBs relative to ICASs can be partly explained by banks’ liquidity constraints, but not by their degree of capitalisation. Overall, our findings suggest the existence of a collateral-related channel through which the use of IRB ratings may influence the internal estimation of risk by banks.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
17 May 2019
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 223
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Abstract
This paper summarises the outcomes of the analysis of the ECB Crypto-Assets Task Force. First, it proposes a characterisation of crypto-assets in the absence of a common definition and as a basis for the consistent analysis of this phenomenon. Second, it analyses recent developments in the crypto-assets market and unfolding links with financial markets and the economy. Finally, it assesses the potential impact of crypto-assets on monetary policy, payments and market infrastructures, and financial stability. The analysis shows that, in the current market, crypto-assets’ risks or potential implications are limited and/or manageable on the basis of the existing regulatory and oversight frameworks. However, this assessment is subject to change and should not prevent the ECB from continuing to monitor crypto-assets, raise awareness and develop preparedness.
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
18 February 2016
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1885
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Abstract
When back-testing the calibration quality of rating systems two-sided statistical tests can detect over- and underestimation of credit risk. Some users though, such as risk-averse investors and regulators, are primarily interested in the underestimation of risk only, and thus require one-sided tests. The established one-sided tests are multiple tests, which assess each rating class of the rating system separately and then combine the results to an overall assessment. However, these multiple tests may fail to detect underperformance of the whole rating system. Aiming to improve the overall assessment of rating systems, this paper presents a set of one-sided tests, which assess the performance of all rating classes jointly. These joint tests build on the method of Sterne [1954] for ranking possible outcomes by probability, which allows to extend back-testing to a setting of multiple rating classes. The new joint tests are compared to the most established one-sided multiple test and are further shown to outperform this benchmark in terms of power and size of the acceptance region.
JEL Code
C12 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Hypothesis Testing: General
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G24 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Investment Banking, Venture Capital, Brokerage, Ratings and Ratings Agencies
14 May 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1549
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Abstract
T2S is the single and harmonised IT platform for securities settlement in central bank money developed by the Eurosystem to promote integration in the European post-trading industry, and will go live in 2015. CSDs joining T2S are thus faced with the decision problem of determining to which degree they should reshape, that is, adapt their own IT infrastructure, human resources and business strategy to T2S. A more complete reshaping entails higher immediate fixed costs, but allows to benefit the most from the cost-reduction allowed by T2S. In this article we use a game theoretic approach to model the strategic choice of the CSDs. We then derive several results from this model. In particular, we give closed-form solutions for the degree of optimal reshaping and the optimal prices set in the unique equilibrium if the time-horizon is finite. In case of an infinite horizon we give a sufficient and necessary condition for the existence of another subgame perfect Nash equilibrium in which CSDs continually delay the decision to reshape. We argue this equilibrium is not robust and provide a condition under which a given CSD will always reshape, whatever the other CSDs
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
L11 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms
16 January 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 717
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Abstract
Discretionary monetary policy produces a dynamic loss in the New Keynesian model in the presence of cost-push shocks. The possibility to commit to a specific policy rule can increase welfare. A number of authors since Woodford (1999) have argued in favour of a timeless perspective rule as an optimal policy. The short-run costs associated with the timeless perspective are neglected in general, however. Rigid prices, relatively impatient households, a high preference of policy makers for output stabilisation and a deviation from the steady state all worsen the performance of the timeless perspective rule and can make it inferior to discretion.
JEL Code
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit