European Central Bank - eurosystem
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Η ΕΚΤ Ενημέρωση Επεξηγήσεις Έρευνα & Εκδόσεις Στατιστικές Νομισματική πολιτική Το ευρώ Πληρωμές & Αγορές Θέσεις εργασίας
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Tamarah Shakir

31 October 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2743
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Abstract
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
12 May 2022
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 293
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Abstract
In July 2021 the Eurosystem decided to launch the investigation phase of the digital euro project, which aims to provide euro area citizens with access to central bank money in an increasingly digitalised world. While a digital euro could offer a wide range of benefits, it could prompt changes in the demand for bank deposits and services from private financial entities (ECB, 2020a), with knock-on consequences for bank lending and resilience. By inducing bank disintermediation, a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, could in principle alter the transmission of monetary policy and impact financial stability. To prevent this risk, options to moderate CBDC take-up are being discussed widely.In view of the significant degree of uncertainty surrounding the design of a potential digital euro, its demand and the prevailing environment in which it would be introduced, this paper explores a set of analytical exercises that can offer insights into the consequences it could have for bank intermediation in the euro area.Based on assumptions about the degree of substitution between different forms of money in normal times, several take-up scenarios are calculated to illustrate how the potential demand for a digital euro might shape up. The paper then analyses the mechanisms through which commercial banks and the central bank could react to the introduction of a digital euro. Overall, effects on bank intermediation are found to vary across credit institutions in normal times and to be potentially larger in stressed times. Further, a potential digital euro’s capacity to alter system-wide bank run dynamics appears to depend on a few crucial factors, such as CBDC remuneration and usage limits.
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
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
17 November 2021
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2021
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Abstract
Investment banking revenues have contributed markedly to the recent increase in euro area banks’ non-interest income growth and the rebound in bank profitability. Internationally, equity capital market (ECM) revenue has doubled in the last three years, while debt capital market (DCM) and merger and acquisition (M&A) revenue has increased by around 50%, with only syndicated lending remaining more subdued. In the euro area, however, the most significant volume increase has come from debt instruments, which have long been the preferred source of corporate funding in the euro area ahead of equity. Despite the international growth in capital market volumes, market commentary before the pandemic suggested that investment banking was the “problem child” of European banking, with many large banks retreating from various market segments as they faced the fallout from the global financial crisis. Against this background, this box considers the recent developments in investment banking of euro area banks in relation to some of the prior trends and considers how sustainable the recent strength might be.
JEL Code
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
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
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18 May 2021
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2021
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Abstract
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
25 November 2020
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2020
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Abstract
We examine some aspects of how the low-for-even-longer interest rate environment may affect bank lending margins and overall financial stability. We find evidence that margins fall more in response to declines in nominal short-term rates when these are low to begin with. The compression of margins reflects the sluggish response to further policy rate cuts of deposit rates as these approach the zero lower bound. Moreover, the analysis indicates that bank margins and overall profitability are influenced by both the level of real rates and, more materially, the level of inflation expectations embedded in nominal rates, which reflects the fact that bank profits are partly akin to seigniorage.
JEL Code
G2 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects