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Dario Focarelli

11 January 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1287
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Abstract
It has often been argued during the recent credit crisis that commercial banks’ involvement in investment banking activities might have had an impact on the intensity of their underwriting standards. We turn to evidence from the period prior to the complete revocation of the Glass-Steagall Act in the United States and analyze whether investment banks or – section 20 subsidiaries of – commercial banks underwrote riskier securities. We compare actual defaults of these deals for an extensive sample of about 4,000 corporate debt securities underwritten during the period of the de facto softening of the Act’s restrictions. Securities underwritten by commercial banks’ subsidiaries have a higher probability of default than those underwritten by investment houses. This evidence is stronger in the case of ex-ante riskier and more competitive issues, and during the first years of bank securities’ subsidiaries’ entry into the market. Based on our results, it is not possible to reject that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall led to looser credit screening by broad (universal) banking companies trying to gain market share and/or to the lower initial ability of these banks to correctly evaluate default risk.
JEL Code
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
N22 : Economic History→Financial Markets and Institutions→U.S., Canada: 1913?
23 July 2012
ADVISORY SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE REPORT - No. 1
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Abstract
The report discusses a variety of issues involving difficulties in the banking sector, with a view to ascertaining the appropriate institutional infrastructure in the context of the European Union and the euro area. Forbearance on the part of banks dealing with delinquent borrowers is problematic if it is designed as a way to game creditors and supervisors. Supervisors should not tolerate excessive forbearance; failure to intervene early tends to increase the costs of the crisis. Macro-prudential concerns should not induce the authorities to delay clean-ups of banks in difficulties. To minimise the macroeconomic fallout from banking problems and to reduce the temptation for authorities to delay and hide problems in banking, it is necessary to have a viable resolution regime that leaves room for authorities to reduce the systemic fallout from resolution. The Advisory Scientific Committee calls for the establishment of strong European bodies responsible for banking supervision and bank resolution. A European competence is necessary to ensure that cross-border concerns are given appropriate weight in supervision and resolution.
JEL Code
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
G33 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Bankruptcy, Liquidation
17 September 2013
ADVISORY SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE REPORT - No. 3
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Abstract
The European macro-prudential policy framework operates at two levels. First, the ESRB has a legal responsibility for macro-prudential oversight in the EU. Second, various national and EU authorities have responsibility for the implementation of macro-prudential policy. The creation of a European banking union is an important innovation within this two-level structure. In response to this innovation, this paper makes two key points. First, the ECB should be in charge of macro-prudential policies conferred by the Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive. Within the ECB, macro-prudential decisions should be taken entirely by the Governing Council, while micro-prudential decisions should be prepared by the Supervisory Board. Second, the ESRB remains the only EU-wide body in charge of macro-prudential supervision, responsible for all financial activities. The ESRB's effectiveness could be strengthened by creating a post of Managing Director, who would carry out the policy determined by the General Board and would be responsible to the General Board for the management of the ESRB.
JEL Code
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation