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Tom Zimmermann

11 February 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1511
Details
Abstract
We empirically investigate the effects of fiscal policy on bank balance sheets, focusing on episodes of fiscal consolidation. To this aim, we employ a very large data set of individual banks' balance sheets, combined with a newly compiled data set on fiscal consolidations. We find that standard capital adequacy ratios such as the Tier-1 ratio tend to improve following episodes of fiscal consolidation. Our results suggest that this improvement results from a portfolio re-balancing from private to public debt securities which reduces the risk-weighted value of assets. In fact, if fiscal adjustment efforts are perceived as structural policy changes that improve the sustainability of public finances and, therefore, reduces credit risk, the banks' demand for government securities should increases relative to other assets.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
H30 : Public Economics→Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents→General