A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis
Deniz Igan, Prachi Mishra, Thierry Tressel
NBER Working Paper No. 17076
Has lobbying by financial institutions contributed to the financial crisis? This paper uses detailed information on financial institutions’ lobbying and mortgage lending activities to answer this question. We find that lobbying was associated with more risk-taking during 2000-07 and with worse outcomes in 2008. In particular, lenders lobbying more intensively on issues related to mortgage lending and securitization (i) originated mortgages with higher loan-to-income ratios, (ii) securitized a faster growing proportion of their loans, and (iii) had faster growing originations of mortgages. Moreover, delinquency rates in 2008 were higher in areas where lobbying lenders’ mortgage lending grew faster. These lenders also experienced negative abnormal stock returns during the rescue of Bear Stearns and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but positive abnormal returns when the bailout was announced. Finally, we find a higher bailout probability for lobbying lenders. These findings suggest that lending by politically active lenders played a role in accumulation of risks and thus contributed to the financial crisis.
Exchange Rates in Emerging Countries: Eleven Empirical Regularities from Latin America and East Asia
NBER Working Paper No. 17074
In this paper I discuss some of the most important lessons on exchange rate policies in emerging markets during the last 35 years. The analysis is undertaken from the perspective of both the Latin American and East Asian nations. Some of the topics addressed include: the relationship between exchange rate regimes and growth, the costs of currency crises, the merits of “dollarization,” the relation between exchange rates and macroeconomic stability, monetary independence under alternative exchange rate arrangements, and the effects of the recent global “currency wars” on exchange rates in commodity exporters.
Financial Protectionism: the First Tests
Andrew K. Rose, Tomasz Wieladek
NBER Working Paper No. 17073
We provide the first empirical tests for financial protectionism, defined as a nationalistic change in banks’ lending behaviour, as the result of public intervention, which leads domestic banks either to lend less or at higher interest rates to foreigners. We use a bank-level panel data set spanning all British and foreign banks providing loans within the United Kingdom between 1997Q3 and 2010Q1. During this time, a number of banks were nationalised, privatised, given unusual access to loan or credit guarantees, or received capital injections. We use standard empirical panel-data techniques to study the “loan mix,” domestic (British) loans of a bank expressed as a fraction of its total loan activity. We also study effective short-term interest rates, though our data set here is much smaller. We examine the loan mix for both British and foreign banks, both before and after unusual public interventions such as nationalisations and public capital injections. We find strong evidence of financial protectionism. After nationalisations, foreign banks reduced the fraction of loans going to the UK by about eleven percentage points and increased their effective interest rates by about 70 basis points. By way of contrast, nationalised British banks did not significantly change either their loan mix or effective interest rates. Succinctly, foreign nationalised banks seem to have engaged in financial protectionism, while British nationalised banks have not.