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This chapter completes the discussion on fiscal–financial risks and looks at banks, shadow banks, central banks and international linkages. Banks have increased their resilience considerably over the past decade, supported by the international regulatory agenda. However, global indebtedness has increased further and bank balance sheets are often loaded with risky public and private credit. Moreover, there are fiscal risks from market-based finance: highly priced, low-quality credit held partly by a run-prone asset management industry, an under-funded pension industry and large derivative clearing houses. Central banks face risks from large asset holdings. International credit is very high and could transmit problems across borders. International safety nets have grown but so have demands for international support. Given record debt and debt increases, and our lack of knowledge and experience of how fiscal–financial risks will unfold in the future, building resilience is of the highest priority. This vindicates constraints on deficit and debt, such as the Maastricht limits and the regulatory agenda for the financial sector, and it provides a further argument for lean and efficient government.
This chapter analyses the South African language policies in relation to the use of African languages in South African banks. The study argues that the legislative efforts to achieve multilingualism within the banking sector fall very short of their goal. While the language policies are good on paper, the practicality of attaining their goal is far from being achieved. South Africa is a multilingual country with eleven official languages, including the sign language. However, the current language practices in the South African banks do not resonate with the multilingualism envisaged in the Constitution of 1996 and national language policies. This is evident in banks where only English is used as the sole language of communication and record, a predicament that elevates it to being the ‘language of business’. The irony, however, is that the majority of customers in banks are speakers of indigenous African languages.
Chapter 10 examines the housing bubble which occurred in Ireland, Spain, the UK and the United States in the 2000s. House prices in many parts of these countries more than doubled in the years leading up to 2007. They then crashed with terrible consequences for the global financial system, which imploded in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers entered bankruptcy. The chapter then discusses how the bubble triangle explains this episode. Financial alchemy meant that mortgage finance could be provided to a wider range of people, thus making the family home much more marketable and an object of speculation. The spark which ignited the subprime bubble was a policy decision taken in the late 1990s that attempted to use loose mortgage lending standards as a substitute for government-provided social housing. The chapter concludes by examining the economic, social and political consequences of the bubble. The housing bubble of the 2000s is a perfect example of an economically and socially destructive bubble, despite extraordinary measures taken by governments and central bankers to save the system. The chapter concludes by drawing a line from the housing bubble and its collapse to the rise of populism.
We hypothesize that informal bank networks influence corporate credit access in China. Our sample comprises a panel of 515 corporations listed on China's stock exchanges with a total of 1,052 firm-year observations, holding a total of 7,009 major bank loans from 183 distinct banks between 2007 and 2012. Results support the hypothesis that closure in bank networks facilitates credit access. We further show that the positive closure-performance association offers fewer advantages if financial markets and the legal infrastructure are relatively well developed. Our findings contribute to an emergent literature examining how informal networks can productively substitute weak formal institutions, and how the interplay between informal networks and network embeddedness shapes individual and corporate strategies.
In the late 1930s, the first independent Arab banks in Palestine, the Arab Bank and the Arab Agricultural Bank, sued customers who had defaulted on loans in an attempt to maintain solvency. Their indebted customers, unable to pay, fought back to prevent their lands from being foreclosed and sold to Zionist buyers. Each party claimed that its position was consistent with, indeed essential to, the anti-Zionist nationalist cause. The story of these pioneering Arab banks and their legal battles with their customers in the wake of the 1936-1939 revolt provides insight into Arab financial life in Mandate Palestine. It reveals the banks’ struggles to survive; complicates notions of Arab-Palestinian landlessness and indebtedness; and argues that political and economic exigencies, not reductive notions of collaboration or patriotism, produced the banks’ antagonistic relationship with their customers, whereby the survival of one came at the expense of the other.
Despite much commentary in the media and the popular assumption that the banking industry exerts undue influence on government policy-making, the academic literature on the role of the banks since the 2008 financial crisis remains theoretically and empirically under-specified. In particular, we argue that different forms of financial power are often conflated, while favorable policy outcomes are too-readily assumed to be evidence of regulatory capture. In short, we still know relatively little about how bank influence varies over time and in different national contexts, the extent to which banking interests are unified or divided, and the conditions under which banks are capable of producing meaningful variation in policy outcomes. This article has three objectives: 1) to explain why the debate on bank influence matters; 2) to examine the evidence of bank influence since the international financial crisis; and 3) to set out a range of conceptual tools for thinking about bank power.
Financial institutions typically avoid projects that will have a significant adverse effect on cultural heritage because it creates unwelcome risk and can affect their reputation. For bank clients, adverse project effects on cultural heritage can result in reputation risk, impede access to finance and insurance, increase operational costs, and jeopardize on-time and on-budget delivery of projects. To address this risk, financial institutions implement environmental and social policy frameworks that include specific requirements for the consideration of cultural heritage. This article examines the place of cultural heritage in the lending practices of 25 of the world's largest private-sector banks and its relevance for heritage practitioners who may be retained to provide advice, review or undertake fieldwork, and prepare studies in keeping with the private-sector bank policies and external standards described. The article concludes with a recommended best practice for private-sector financial institutions, a call to action for heritage practitioners to advocate for robust safeguards, and a call for support of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals by both heritage practitioners and private-sector financial institutions.
traditional response to information asymmetries in financial markets has been to require disclosure and heightened transparency in investment chains. We argue in this chapter that the trust placed in such regulatory techniques will fail to deliver sustainable investment for two reasons. The first is the structure of equity markets, which are focused on shareholder returns and excessive turnover of portfolios, preventing meaningful engagement with companies. The second is that both investors and intermediaries make a category error in placing trust in modern risk management to quantify the financial risks from climate change and other environmental changes. Our analysis leads us logically to three micro- and macroprudential policy prescriptions, namely: increasing the capital requirements on assets with so-called ‘brown’ credentials; reforming bank stress tests to reflect the uncertain financial implications of environmental damage; and pivoting central bank bond buying programmes toward green financial assets.
This article examines how two dynamics, one global and one domestic, have interacted to shape the politics of banking in Europe. In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, European governments were subject to renewed structural incentive to promote TBTF banks: in financialized economies, the growth of these banks is perceived as an essential element of a national economy's global competitiveness. Yet, this incentive was subject to enhanced political contention at home. Factions—often led by actors from within the state itself—have opposed governments’ impetus to promote TBTF banks. The specific identity, preferences and resources of these factions are determined by distinctive political institutions and vary across countries. Through the comparative analysis of banking structural reform and banking competition policies in the UK, France and Germany, I argue that varieties of regulatory outcomes are explained by the differentiated institutional capacity of “anti-TBTF” factions to carry weight in policymaking processes across jurisdictions.
Economic developments have long shaped what we think of as the main themes of global as well as national history, from the story of capitalism and the industrial revolution, to the age of empires-cum-nations. Yet peacemaking at the end of the Napoleonic wars brought onto the international scene financiers, rentiers, and bankers, funding the future of Europe. Their presence was indicative of the emergence of a new capitalist economic order shaped by industrialisation and imperialism. This chapter uses a focus on this rising class as a lens through which to survey the social and ideological influence of shifting economic relations, practices and identities on the politics of peacemaking and on political agendas, from their impact on foreign policies and questions of ‘security’, to the proposals for political consideration brought to the peacemakers by Benjamin Constant, Saint-Simon, and Robert Owen.
The EU is making progress in reducing its carbon footprint. The creation of a High-Level Group on Sustainable Finance has supplemented recent market-led initiatives and provided some recommendations for future reform. This article argues that more remains to be achieved. In particular, in light of the fundamental structural uncertainties attached to climate change, precautionary approaches to the funding of GHG-intensive industries are worth contemplating. Such measures include raising the capital requirements on assets with ‘brown’ credentials. The high dependence on banks for external financing in the EU makes these reforms particularly appropriate for implementation within the bloc.
This article examines the mortgage credit market of Peru during the guano era and analyses the effects of the creation of mortgage banks on the allocation of credit. It shows that mortgage banks served as interregional intermediaries and facilitated access to long-term credit for large estate owners. However, banks did not broaden access to credit. As private lenders, mortgage banks loaned largely to Lima’s merchants and renters and to hacendados from the main coastal valleys.
In this paper, we study the positive and normative implications of financial shocks in a standard New Keynesian model that includes banks and frictions in the market for bank capital. We show how such frictions influence materially the effects of bank liquidity shocks and the properties of optimal policy. In particular, they limit the scope for countercyclical monetary policy in the face of these shocks. A fiscal policy instrument can complement monetary policy by offsetting the balance-sheet effects of these shocks, and jointly optimal policies attain the same equilibrium that monetary policy (alone) could attain in the absence of equity-market frictions.
As most states, France has been affected by the global financial crisis and has quickly taken appropriate steps to tackle its worst effects. Thus, France immediately took measures to respond to the liquidity crisis and recapitalised the most important banks in order for them to continue to finance the ‘real economy’. Some measures have been aimed directly at the ‘real economy’, such as the creation of a mediator for the distribution of credit and the establishment of a French sovereign wealth fund aimed at investing in strategic companies facing difficulties and in medium-sized companies. After the first wave of the crisis, France took a preventive measure concerning the remuneration of traders and a punitive measure by creating an exceptional taxation of traders' remuneration. But the crisis has also provoked a long-term reform of the French supervisory landscape, merging the supervisory authorities of the banking and the insurance landscape into a single body, the Authority for Prudential Control (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel).
Good corporate governance of banks is of a vital concern to banks themselves as well as to the banking supervisors. During the past decade, listed banks and even non-listed institutions worldwide started to publicly emphasise that good corporate governance is of vital concern for the company, and even to adopt individualised corporate governance codices. In turn, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision already published two editions of a guideline entitled ‘Enhancing corporate governance for banking organisations’ which reflects the supervisors' taking on the issue to perfection. Last but not least, two years into the financial crisis, the issue of banks' good corporate governance has started to attract pronounced interest, with the OECD taking a leading role. Against this backdrop, the article, on the one hand, discusses the particularities of banks' corporate governance – due in large part to banking regulation and to deposit insurance – in a principal-agent framework, and, on the other hand, presents the supervisors' financial stability perspective taking the Basel Committee's guidance as a starting point. The article concludes with reflections on some tentative lessons from the current crisis for (banks') good corporate governance: banks' corporate governance differs from that of a generic firm. Deposit insurance and prudential regulation, while aimed at compensating for deficits in the monitoring and control of banks, both act to exacerbate the particular problems that are inherent in banks' corporate governance. From this perspective, banking regulation and banks' corporate governance interact as the driving forces of a vicious circle that produces ever more regulation. Hence, one may doubt whether banks' corporate governance should map the way forward for corporate governance in general. In particular, this holds true for the way forward to regulating bankers' pay.
Large Australian and Swiss banks have been trimming their workforces since the mid-1990s. With further rounds of downsizing activities predicted, this study sought to identify, examine, and compare the adopted organizational downsizing implementation strategies. The primary purpose of this cross-cultural study was to determine how large Australian and Swiss banks implemented downsizing in their most recent endeavors. The research has revealed three key findings. First, Australian banks primarily adopted workforce reduction strategies, whereas Swiss banks employed a mixture of organization redesign, workforce reduction, and systemic strategies. Second, Australian banks had considerable depth in their downsizing, whereas Swiss banks had more breadth in their overall strategies. Third, Australian banks favored reorientation approaches, whereas Swiss banks embraced reinforcement approaches. It remains unclear as to why large Australian and Swiss banks differed in the selection of implementation strategies and why they diverged in their overall approaches to downsizing. Further research is required to explore aspects that are likely to influence the adoption of downsizing strategies in both Australia and Switzerland.
In an era of rapid consolidation in banking, the effect of mergers on the availability of credit to agricultural businesses is unclear. Commercial bank mergers have profoundly altered the urban credit marketplace and are positioned to do the same for the agricultural credit marketplace. Adjustment models are estimated with data on independent bank consolidations from 1988 through 1995. The regression results bode well for agricultural lending if acquiring banks have larger concentrations of assets in agriculture than acquired banks. Conversely, if acquiring banks have smaller concentrations than acquired banks, acquisitions have a negative impact on agricultural lending. Since most acquiring banks have smaller agricultural loan concentrations than acquired banks, there is concern for agricultural lending. However, other lenders are likely to fill credit gaps that develop.