Financial Markets


181 - 210 of 442
13 February 2009

CEPS Director Daniel Gros looks at the reported €270 billion in intangible assets reported on the balance sheets of the 12 largest European banks and wonders whether the "fair value" of this hot air in today's market circumstances could be close to zero.

11 February 2009

CEPS Chief Executive looks at the large differences that remain in the risk management of European banks and in the way bank regulation is implemented. Drawing on comparisons between Spanish banks and their counterparts elsewhere in Europe, he concludes that more integrated European oversight, if it happens, will need to be elaborated very carefully and accurately. This means a watertight structure, an accountable management and a clear division of responsibilities.

05 February 2009

Daniel Gros argues in this Commentary that the key choice facing the US government is the fundamental one between muddling through with partial recapitalization schemes that leave banks alive, but too weak to lend or a big bang approach that clears balance sheets and allows the survivors to resume lending without looking back.

27 January 2009

In a new CEPS Commentary, Paul De Grauwe takes rating agencies to task for having systematically rewarded companies for taking too much risk in the past and for punishing companies today for taking too little, thereby exacerbating the financial crisis. The author is Professor of Economics at the University of Leuven and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies.

07 January 2009

This paper provides the first empirical evidence of fairness opinions in Europe. Legal requirements concerning the use of fairness opinions in mergers and acquisitions are significantly different in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. We examine the determinants of fairness opinions for target firms in these various regulatory settings, and moreover, investigate the impact of such opinions on the abnormal returns of target firms. While in Germany and Austria market participants do not deem fairness opinions important, they do create value for shareholders in Switzerland.

15 December 2008

This paper argues that transparency-boosting measures specifically tailored to commodity and commodity derivatives markets are much needed. In particular, encouraging the creation of a clearing infrastructure for OTC commodity and commodity derivatives markets would be desirable. Moreover, EU regulators should consider setting up a new, more effective market abuse regime aimed at preventing manipulation in both the physical and financial commodities markets.

01 December 2008

The financial crisis exposed dangerous weaknesses in the regulatory and oversight structure that need to be urgently corrected to restore confidence in the financial system and to keep the single market alive. Towards this end, this CEPS Task Force report puts forward three main policy recommendations to the EU:
1) The European Council should formally mandate the High-Level Expert Group on EU financial supervision to analyse the optimal structure of financial oversight and propose concrete steps leading to a European System of Financial Supervisors;

14 November 2008

In his Commentary published in the run-up to the G20 summit in Washington on 15 November 2008, CEPS Director Daniel Gros attributes the global financial crisis to two macroscopic failures: monetary policy should have reacted earlier to the boom in house prices and regulators should have forced banks to accumulate larger reserves for the tougher times that had to come sooner or later. He asserts that the root causes for these failures need to be understood properly before trying to create a new Bretton Woods.

14 November 2008

In this Commentary addressed to the G20 leaders meeting in Washington on November 15th, Paul De Grauwe argues that the solution to the financial crisis is to restrict banks to traditional, narrow banking with traditional oversight and guarantees while requiring financial firms involved in financial markets to more closely match the average maturities of their assets and liabilities.

30 October 2008

As Europe faces the worst economic and financial crisis since World War II, the usual decision-making mechanisms are clearly overwhelmed. This commentary asserts that Europe needs action on a scale that can only be decided at the highest political level, namely the formation of a massive European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) to issue bonds on the international market with the explicit guarantee of member states.

28 October 2008

The ECRI Database on Banking Codes of Conduct is a collection of valuable information on established codes of conduct in Europe, covering all 27 member states. The interactive Excel tool provides its user with a list of the codes per country, with information on the initiating organization/institution, a short description, content and further annotations. The database was created by ECRI in August 2008, depending on the availability of information from national financial associations and authorities. With the purchase of the ECRI Database, access to codes will be provided as well.

21 October 2008

Some have argued that the financial crisis has set back progress in EU integration by 15 years. CEPS Chief Executive argues in this Commentary that the EU can demonstrate that this is not the case by rapidly drawing the lessons from the crisis and taking it as a challenge for a further step in European integration. He acknowledges that this will require plenty of effort and determination, but it will certainly benefit the EU’s financial services industry and economy.

14 October 2008

In assessing the October 12th euro area summit, Daniel Gros applauds the national leaders for taking decisive action that avoided a total breakdown in the short run, but laments the fact that the cost of the lack of fiscal solidarity will set back the integration of European financial markets by decades.

10 October 2008

In this commentary, Paul De Grauwe traces the origins of the turmoil in the global financial system and explores how to get out of this bad equilibrium. In his view, there is only one way: the governments of the major countries (US, UK, the eurozone, possibly Japan) must take over their banking systems (or at least the significant banks). Governments are the only institutions that can solve the co-ordination failure at the heart of the liquidity crisis. They can do this because once the banks are in the hands of the state, they can be ordered to trust each other and to lend to each other.

10 October 2008

On the eve of the G7 meetings in Washington, Daniel Gros and Stefano Micossi find that what is missing is a body or a concerted initiative to take care of the inter-bank market, which has become dysfunctional almost everywhere. They warn that the G-7 governments must tackle this issue or be prepared to witness the funding crisis mutate into a global depression.

09 October 2008

This Commentary by CEPS Chief Executive Karel Lannoo examines the draft directive issued for consultation by Commissioner Charlie McCreevy in July 2008, which proposes very detailed and prescriptive regulation of the activities of rating agencies in the EU. While acknowledging that policy-makers had no choice but to take action, Lannoo asserts that the draft raises fundamental questions about the form of the regulation and its impact on the industry and the markets. Namely:
1) Confronted with a globally concentrated industry, can the EU act alone?

04 October 2008

The ECRI Statistical Package on Lending to Households in Europe is a collection of data on lending to households, including consumer credit, housing and other loans, in Europe, covering 35 countries: the 27 EU member states, two EU candidate countries (Turkey and Croatia) and five additional key global economies (the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Iceland). Its purpose is to provide reliable statistical information allowing users to make meaningful comparisons between these countries.

04 October 2008

The ECRI Statistical Package on Lending to Households in Europe is a collection of data on lending to households, including consumer credit, housing and other loans, in Europe, covering 35 countries: the 27 EU member states, two EU candidate countries (Turkey and Croatia) and five additional key global economies (the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Iceland). Its purpose is to provide reliable statistical information allowing users to make meaningful comparisons between these countries.

03 October 2008

The ECRI Statistical Package on Consumer Credit in Europe 1995-2007 is a collection of data on consumer credit, covering 35 countries: the 27 EU member states, two EU candidate countries (Turkey and Croatia) and 5 additional key global economies (the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Iceland). Its purpose is to provide reliable statistical information allowing users to make meaningful comparisons between these countries. Accordingly, definitions of concepts and aggregates from national authorities are provided.

03 October 2008

The ECRI Statistical Package on Consumer Credit in Europe 1995-2007 is a collection of data on consumer credit, covering 35 countries: the 27 EU member states, two EU candidate countries (Turkey and Croatia) and 5 additional key global economies (the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Iceland). Its purpose is to provide reliable statistical information allowing users to make meaningful comparisons between these countries. Accordingly, definitions of concepts and aggregates from national authorities are provided.

03 October 2008

The ECRI Statistical Package on Consumer Credit in Europe 1995-2007 is a collection of data on consumer credit, covering 35 countries: the 27 EU member states, two EU candidate countries (Turkey and Croatia) and 5 additional key global economies (the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Iceland). Its purpose is to provide reliable statistical information allowing users to make meaningful comparisons between these countries. Accordingly, definitions of concepts and aggregates from national authorities are provided.

01 October 2008

In this paper, we investigate whether changes in executive compensation related to the agency problems is a significant explanatory factor of the changes in banking performance before and after a merger or an acquisition. To assess banking performance, first we measure profitability and efficiency (cost and profit) for the acquirers and the targets before and after the operation using financial ratios and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Financial ratios and balance sheet indicators are taken from Bankscope.

30 September 2008

Observing that we are living in extraordinary times, Daniel Gros and Stefano Micossi warn in a new CEPS Commentary that policy-makers in Europe cannot continue to muddle through. They put forward simple proposals aimed to putting the euro area ahead of events in the unfolding crisis. Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. Stefano Micossi is Director of Assonime, a business association and think-tank in Rome.

29 August 2008

In spite of the growing importance of commodity derivatives markets in the financial services industry, precious little is known about their impact on commodity spot prices and their functioning and structure. This ECMI Commentary calls for greater information and transparency on a number of fundamental questions related to these markets.

07 August 2008

This Commentary by CEPS Chief Executive looks at the financial crisis that has gripped Europe since the massive liquidity injection by the European Central Bank on 9 August 2007. One year on, he notes that some clear shifts are discernible in the institutional set-up, but they have probably not been explicitly acknowledged. At the same time, the crisis has brought to the fore important gaps in the European and global supervisory architecture.

24 July 2008

In this commentary, CEPS Associate Fellow Paul De Grauwe looks at the lessons that can be learnt from the financial crisis, arguing that tighter market regulations should be re-introduced, and that new macroeconomic models will have to be developed in order to factor in financial stability as a new target.

27 June 2008

In this commentary, CEPS Chief Executive Karel Lannoo calls for a consolidation of the EU Financial Markets’ supervisory framework.

23 June 2008

Following a period of protracted turbulence, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic face the challenge of re-evaluating prudential standards in the midst of implementing the new so-called ‘Basel II’ rules, issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Indeed, the 2007 subprime lending crisis and other scandals have cast doubt on the credibility of banks’ internal governance and risk assessment and management systems and the role of credit rating agencies in externally assessing the risk of complex structured products.

03 June 2008

This paper starts with a bird’s eye view of retail financial markets in the EU today and their degree of integration. It reviews the EU measures affecting retail financial markets and how rule-making has evolved over the last 15 years. A third section discusses issues raised by EU rule-making in retail financial markets and concludes with recommendations for policy.

08 April 2008

The European fund management industry has undergone profound changes since the 1985 Directive on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS). Today, there are about 32,000 UCITS products, representing over €6 trillion of assets under management. These facts point to the success of the UCITS brand as one that is operational and reliable, all the while securing a high degree of investor protection.