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Author:Niepmann, Friederike 

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No guarantees, no trade: how banks affect export patterns

This study provides evidence that shocks to the supply of trade finance have a causal effect on U.S. exports. The identification strategy exploits variation in the importance of banks as providers of letters of credit across countries. The larger a U.S. bank?s share of the trade finance market in a country, the larger should be the effect on exports to that country if the bank changes its supply of letters of credit. We find that a shock of one standard deviation to a country?s supply of letters of credit increases export growth, on average, by 1.5 percentage points. The effect is larger for ...
Staff Reports , Paper 659

Working Paper
The Dollar and Corporate Borrowing Costs

We show that U.S. dollar movements affect syndicated loan terms for U.S. borrowers, even for those without trade exposure. We identify the effect of dollar movements using spread and loan amount adjustments during the syndication process. Using this high-frequency, within loan variation, we find that a one standard deviation increase in the dollar index increases spreads by up to 15 basis points and reduces loan amounts and underpricing by up to 2 percent and 7 basis points, respectively. These effects are concentrated in dollar appreciations. Our results suggest that global factors reflected ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1312

Working Paper
International Trade Risk and the Role of Banks

International trade exposes exporters and importers to substantial risks. To mitigate these risks, firms can buy special trade finance products from banks. This paper explores under which conditions and to what extent firms use these products. We find that letters of credit and documentary collections cover about 10 percent of U.S. exports and are preferred for larger transactions, indicating substantial fixed costs. Letters of credit are employed the most for exports to countries with intermediate contract enforcement. Compared to documentary collections, they are used for riskier ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1151

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Banking across borders with heterogeneous banks

Individual banks differ substantially in their foreign operations. This paper introduces heterogeneous banks into a general equilibrium framework of banking across borders to explain the documented variation. While the model matches existing micro and macro evidence, novel and unexplored predictions of the theory are also strongly supported by the data: The efficiency of the least efficient bank active in a host country increases the greater the impediments to banking across borders and the efficiency of the banking sector in the host country. There is also evidence of a tradeoff between ...
Staff Reports , Paper 609

Report
International banking and cross-border effects of regulation: lessons from the United States

Domestic prudential regulation can have unintended effects across borders and may be less effective in an environment where banks operate globally. Using U.S. micro-banking data for the first quarter of 2000 through the third quarter of 2013, this study shows that some regulatory changes indeed spill over. First, a foreign country?s tightening of limits on loan-to-value ratios and local currency reserve requirements increase lending growth in the United States through the U.S. branches and subsidiaries of foreign banks. Second, a foreign tightening of capital requirements shifts lending by ...
Staff Reports , Paper 793

Working Paper
No Guarantees, No Trade: How Banks Affect Export Patterns

How relevant are financial instruments to manage risk in international trade for exporting? Employing a unique dataset of U.S. banks' trade finance claims by country, this paper estimates the effect of shocks to the supply of letters of credit on U.S. exports. We show that a one-standard deviation negative shock to a country's supply of letters of credit reduces U.S. exports to that country by 1.5 percentage points. This effect is stronger for smaller and poorer destinations. It more than doubles during crisis times, suggesting a non-negligible role for finance in explaining the Great Trade ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1158

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International Trade, Risk and the Role of Banks

Banks play a critical role in international trade by providing trade finance products that reduce the risk of exporting. This paper employs two new data sets to shed light on the magnitude and structure of this business, which, as we show, is highly concentrated in a few large banks. The two principal trade finance instruments, letters of credit and documentary collections, covered about 10 percent of U.S. exports in 2012. They are preferred for larger transactions, which indicates the existence of substantial fixed costs in the provision and use of these instruments. Letters of credit are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 633

Working Paper
Modeling Your Stress Away

We investigate systematic changes in banks' projected credit losses between the 2014 and 2016 EBA stress tests, employing methodology from Philippon et al. (2017). We find that projected credit losses were smoothed across the tests through systematic model adjustments. Those banks whose losses would have increased the most from 2014 to 2016 due to changes in the supervisory scenarios-keeping the models constant and controlling for changes in the riskiness of underlying portfolios-saw the largest decrease in losses due to model changes. Model changes were more pronounced for banks that rely ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1232

Report
Banking across borders

The international linkages between banks play a crucial role in today?s global economy. Existing models explain these links on the basis of portfolio theory, in which banks diversify lending. These models have found only limited empirical support and do not speak to many relevant dimensions of the data. For example, they do not address heterogeneity in the degree to which banking sectors fund their foreign operations locally in foreign markets. This paper proposes an alternative theory to explain banking across borders that is based on elements of international trade theory. In the model, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 576

Working Paper
What Determines the Composition of International Bank Flows?

This paper studies how frictions to foreign bank operations affect the sectoral composition of banks? foreign positions, their funding sources and international bank flows. It presents a parsimonious model of banking across borders, which is matched to bank-level data and used to quantify cross-border frictions. The counterfactual analysis shows how higher barriers to foreign bank entry alter the composition of international bank flows and may reverse the direction of net interbank flows. It also highlights that interbank lending and lending to non-banking firms respond differently to changes ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1170

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