Dr. Steffen Murau| steffenmurau.com

‘Re-assessing Fragmentation of the Euro Area Banking System. Offshore Channels for Cross-Border Banking Activities’ (with Iñaki Aldasoro and Torsten Ehlers)

It is an established assessment that since the Eurocrisis, the Euro area banking system has been fragmented. Representing the Eurozone’s monetary architecture as a web of interlocking balance sheets, we carve out four different types of fragmentation that pertain to different parts of banks’ balance sheets and a different set of counterparties. The first type affects the size, scope, and business model of EA banks; the second the cross-border interbank lending among EA banks; the third the monetary policy transmission via EA banks; and the fourth the harmonization of public backstops for EA banks. We argue that the first two types of fragmentation can in principle be mitigated by using ‘offshore channels’ for cross-border banking activities. Euro area banks are not restricted to using EUR-denominated instruments inside the Eurozone monetary jurisdiction but may carry out cross-border activities in other units of account than the EUR (notably the USD) and in other booking locations (notably via their branches in the United Kingdom and the United States). Using data derived from the BIS’s international debt securities and locational banking statistics, we analyse whether the use of these offshore channels warrants a re-assessment of established findings on the fragmentation of the Euro area banking system.

Co-authors:
Iñaki Aldasoro, Bank for International Settlements
Torsten Ehlers, Bank for International Settlements and International Monetary Fund

Related articles

‘Transformation of the Eurozone Architecture. On Crises and Institutional Change in the Offshore US-Dollar System’

This study adopts a dynamic perspective on the transformation of the Eurozone architecture, using the macro-financial model developed in Murau (2020) as conceptual framework. It analyzes changes in the web of hierarchical interlocking balance sheets […]

Learn More

‘Covid-19 and Macrofinancial Debt Crises. What Role for the Special Drawing Rights System?’ (with Fabian Pape and Tobias Pforr)

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to dramatic increases in government borrowing. The Institute of International Finance (IIF) has gone so far as to speak of an “attack of a debt tsunami”, as global debt increased […]

Learn More

‘The Transformation of Eurozone Fiscal Governance. Mitigating Fiscal Discipline through a Proliferation of Off-Balance-Sheet Fiscal Agencies’ (with Andrei Guter-Sandu)

The original Maastricht regime designed the Eurozone’s fiscal segment in a way that sought to keep member states’ treasury budgets balanced by disciplining them through market forces, reducing the overall volume of public indebtedness, prohibiting […]

Learn More