OECD Journal: Financial Market Trends

Frequency :
1995-2872 (online)
1995-2864 (print)
Hide / Show Abstract

The twice-yearly journal from OECD providing timely analyses and statistics on financial matters of topical interest and longer-term developments in specific financial sectors. Each issue provides a brief update of trends and prospects in the international and major domestic financial markets along with articles covering such topics as structural and regulatory developments in OECD financial systems, trends in foreign direct investment, trends in privatization, and financial sector statistics covering areas such as bank profitability, insurance, and institutional investors.

Periodically, a small number of articles within one field of financial sector developments – constituting the so-called special focus for the particular issue – may be included.

Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.


Latest Articles Hide / Hide / Show all Abstracts

Mark Number Date Article Volume and Issue Click to Access
  20 Mar 2014 SMEs and the credit crunch
Gert Wehinger

After a brief overview of current financing difficulties for SMEs and policy measures to support SME lending during the crisis,this article presents a literature review related to difficulties in SME’s access to finance during the crisis, against a background of a sharp decline in bank profitability and an erosion of bank capital that negatively affected lending. The articles reviewed are classified according to four main issues of interest:the impairment of the bank-credit channel and its economic effects;factors potentially attenuating the effect of a financial squeeze;the role of global banking in mitigating but also transmitting financial shocks; and,looking ahead,issues related to so-called "credit-less recoveries" that should be relevant in guiding policy makers in the current environment of financial deleveraging. All the results hold important implications for policy making given the bail-outs and the large injections ofliquidity by central banks during the crisis.


Volume 2013 Issue 2 Click to Access: 
  20 Mar 2014 Institutional investors and ownership engagement
Serdar Çelik, Mats Isaksson

This article provides a framework for analysing the character and degree of ownership engagement by institutional investors.It argues that the general term "institutional investor" in itself doesn’t say very much about the quality or degree of ownership engagement. It is therefore an evasive "shorthand" for policy discussions about ownership engagement. The reason is that there are large differences in ownership engagement between different categories of institutional investors. There are also differences in ownership engagement within the same category of institutional investors such as hedge funds, investment funds,etc. These differences arise from the fact that the degree of ownership engagement is determined by a number of different features and choices that together make up the institutional investor’s "business model". When ownership engagement is not a central part of the business model,public policies and voluntary standards aiming to improve the quality of ownership engagement among institutional investors are likely to have limited effect. Based on an empirical overview of the relative sise of different categories of institutional investors, the article identifies a set of 7 features and 19 choices that in different combinations define the institutional investor’s business model. These features and choices are then used to establish a taxonomy for identifying different degrees of ownership engagement ranging from "no engagement" to "inside engagement".

Volume 2013 Issue 2 Click to Access: 
  20 Mar 2014 Bank business models and the separation issue
Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Paul Atkinson, Caroline Roulet

The main hallmarks of the global financial crisis were too-big-to-fail institutions taking on too much risk with other people’s money while gains were privatised and losses socialised. It is shown that banks need little capital in calm periods, but in a crisis they need too much – there is no reasonable ex-ante capital rule for large systemically important financial institutions that will make them safe. The bank regulators paradox is that large complex and interconnected banks need very little capital in the good times, but they can never have enough in an extreme crisis. Separation is required to deal with this problem, which derives mainly from counterparty risk. The study suggests banks should be considered for separation into a ring-fenced non-operating holding company (NOHC) structure with ring-fencing when they pass a key allowable threshold for the gross market value (GMV) of derivatives, a case which is reinforced if the bank has high wholesale funding and low levels of liquid trading assets. The pricing of derivatives and repos would become more commensurate with the risks if the NOHC proposal were to be pursued as a unifying strategy for the different national approaches. Most of the objections to this structure are summarised and rebutted. Other national proposals for separation in Switzerland, the Volcker rule, the Vickers rule, and the Liikanen proposal are argued to be inferior to the ring-fenced NOHC proposal, on the grounds that empirical evidence about what matters for a safe business model is not taken properly into account.
JEL classification: G01, G15, G18, G20, G21, G24, G28
Keywords: Financial crisis, derivatives, bank business models, distance-to-default, structural bank separation, banking reform, GSIFI banks

Volume 2013 Issue 2 Click to Access: 
  20 Mar 2014 Bank business models and the Basel system
Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Paul Atkinson, Caroline Roulet

The main hallmarks of the global financial crisis were too-big-to-fail institutions taking on too much risk with other people’s money: excess leverage and default pressure resulting from contagion and counterparty risk. This paper looks at whether the Basel III agreement addresses these issues effectively. Basel III has some very useful elements, notably a (much too light "back-up") leverage ratio, a capital buffer, a proposal to deal with pro-cyclicality through dynamic provisioning based on expected losses and liquidity and stable funding ratios. However, the paper shows that Basel risk weighting and the use of internal bank models for determining them leads to systematic regulatory arbitrage that undermines its effectiveness. Empirical evidence about the determinants of the riskiness of a bank (measured in this study by the Distance-to-Default) shows that a simple leverage ratio vastly outperforms the Basel Tier 1 ratio. Furthermore, business model features (after controlling for macro factors) have a huge impact. Derivatives origination, prime broking, etc., carry vastly different risks to core deposit banking. Where such differences are present, it makes little sense to have a one-size-fits-all approach to capital rules. Capital rules make more sense when fundamentally different businesses are separated.
JEL classification: G01, G15, G18, G20, G21, G24, G28
Keywords: Financial crisis, Basel III, derivatives, bank business models, distance-todefault, structural bank separation, banking reform, GSIFI banks

Volume 2013 Issue 2 Click to Access: 
  20 Mar 2014 Capital controls on inflows, the global financial crisis and economic growth
Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Caroline Roulet

The results of an IMF study on controls on capital inflows in emerging economies, using a probit regression approach, are first replicated and tested for stability. The IMF results, downplayed by the authors, have been used by others to suggest controls can be helpful in a crisis situation. However, the stability findings suggest the results are not sufficiently robust to make strong claims in this regard. The same 37 countries and the IMF capital control measures are then used in a panel regression study to examine the impact of capital inflows on annual real GDP growth around the Global Financial Crisis. The results between the pre-crisis and the crisis periods are inconsistent with the IMF study – finding that capital restrictions on inflows (particularly debt liabilities) are most useful in good times when inflows to emerging markets are strong and upward pressure on managed exchange rates and reserves accumulation is greatest. However, lower controls on bonds and on FDI inflows seem to be associated with better growth outcomes during the crisis period studied. These findings are more consistent with studies that see capital controls as part of exchange rate targeting policies and concerns about excess reserves accumulation.
JEL Classification: C23, C25, F21, F43, G01
Keywords: Capital controls, economic growth, emerging economies, financial crisis

Volume 2013 Issue 2 Click to Access: 
  20 Mar 2014 Macro-prudential policy, bank systemic risk and capital controls
Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Caroline Roulet

The paper explores the issue of macro-prudential policies in the light of empirical evidence on the determinants of bank systemic risk, and the effectiveness of capital controls. In many ways this reflects a step back in time towards sector approaches to monetary policy that were so prevalent in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. Complexity and interdependence is such that proposals on these issues should be treated with care until much more is understood about the issue.
JEL Classification: C23, C25, F21, F43, G01.
Keywords: Macro-prudential policies, capital controls, economic growth, emerging economies, financial crisis.

Volume 2013 Issue 2 Click to Access: 
  25 Sep 2013 Equity markets, corporate governance and value creation
Mats Isaksson, Serdar Çelik

This article provides both an analytical framework for the role of public policy in corporate governance and a description of the empirical context that influences the conditions for that policy. It underlines the importance of focusing on the overall economic outcome and, in particular, how rules and regulations impact the conditions for companies to grow and create value by accessing public equity markets. In terms of the empirical context, we point to fundamental changes in the functioning of equity markets that may call for a fresh look at the economic effectiveness of corporate governance regulations. Among other things, we document a dramatic shift in listings from developed to emerging markets over the last decade, which means that concentrated ownership at company level has become the dominant form of ownership in listed companies worldwide.We also discuss whether the lack of new listings of smaller companies in developed markets is related to excessive regulatory burdens and unintended consequences of a decade of profound stock market deregulation. The discussion about listings illustrates that corporate governance rules and regulations do not only affect companies that are already listed. From a policy perspective, it is equally important to assess the implications for unlisted companies that may, in the future, require access to public equity markets for growth and job creation. We also document how the lengthened and ever more complex chain of intermediaries between savers and companies may influence the efficiency of capital allocation and the willingness of investors to take an active long-term interest in the companies that they own. It is shown that institutional investors are a highly heterogeneous group and that their willingness and ability to engage in corporate governance primarily depend on the economic incentives that follow from their different business models, investment strategies and trading practices.We provide examples of how regulatory initiatives to increase shareholder engagement may have unintended consequences, and note that the diversity and complexity of the investment chain can render general policies or regulation ineffective.

JEL Classification: G30, G32, G34, G38
Keywords: capital and ownership structure, corporate governance, initial public offerings, institutional investors, shareholders

Volume 2013 Issue 1 Click to Access: 
Add to Marked List