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Peter Wierts

23 February 2016
Financial supervision focuses on the aggregate (macroprudential) in addition to the individual (microprudential). But an agreed framework for measuring and addressing financial imbalances is lacking. We propose a holistic approach for the financial system as a whole, beyond banking. Building on our model of financial amplification, the financial cycle is the key variable for measuring financial imbalances. The cycle can be curbed by leverage restrictions that might vary across countries. We make concrete policy proposals for the design of macroprudential instruments to simplify the current framework and make it more consistent.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
1 August 2017
Systemically important banks are subject to at least two departures from the neutrality of debt versus equity financing: the tax deductibility of interest payments and implicit funding subsidies. This paper fills a gap in the literature by comparing their mechanism and interaction within a common analytical framework. Findings indicate that both the tax shield and implicit funding subsidy remain large, in the order of up to 1 percent of GDP, despite decreases in recent years. But the underlying mechanisms differ. The tax shield incentivises debt financing as it reduces tax payments to the government. The implicit funding subsidy incentivises debt financing as it lowers private bankruptcy costs. This funding subsidy is passed on to other bank stakeholders. It therefore provides incentives for increases in balance sheet size and risk taking. This, in turn, increases the value of the tax shield. Overall, these results help to explain why systemically important banks are highly leveraged.
JEL Code
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
H25 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→Business Taxes and Subsidies