- Modeling autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C in mice reveals distinct functions for Ltbp-4 isoforms (2015)
- Recent studies have revealed an important role for LTBP-4 in elastogenesis. Its mutational inactivation in humans causes autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C (ARCL1C), which is a severe disorder caused by defects of the elastic fiber network. Although the human gene involved in ARCL1C has been discovered based on similar elastic fiber abnormalities exhibited by mice lacking the short Ltbp-4 isoform (Ltbp4S−/−), the murine phenotype does not replicate ARCL1C. We therefore inactivated both Ltbp-4 isoforms in the mouse germline to model ARCL1C. Comparative analysis of Ltbp4S−/− and Ltbp4-null (Ltbp4−/−) mice identified Ltbp-4L as an important factor for elastogenesis and postnatal survival, and showed that it has distinct tissue expression patterns and specific molecular functions. We identified fibulin-4 as a previously unknown interaction partner of both Ltbp-4 isoforms and demonstrated that at least Ltbp-4L expression is essential for incorporation of fibulin-4 into the extracellular matrix (ECM). Overall, our results contribute to the current understanding of elastogenesis and provide an animal model of ARCL1C.
- The effects of bank mergers on small business lending in Germany (2008)
- In this paper, we examine the impact of mergers among German savings banks on the extent to which these savings banks engage in small business lending. The ongoing consolidation in the banking industry has sparked concerns about the continuous availability of credit to small businesses which has been further fueled by empirical studies that partly confirm a reduction in small business lending in the aftermath of mergers. However, using a proprietary data set of German savings banks we find strong evidence that in Germany merging savings banks do not significantly change the extent to which they lend to small businesses compared to prior to the merger or compared to the contemporaneous lending by non-merging banks. We investigate the merger related effects on small business lending in Germany from a bank-level perspective. Furthermore, we estimate small business lending and its continuous adjustment process simultaneously using recent General Method of Moments (GMM) techniques for panel data as proposed by Arellano and Bond (1991).
- Dissynergies of mergers among local banks (2008)
- In this paper, we investigate how bank mergers affect bank revenues and present empirical evidence that mergers among banks have a substantial and persistent negative impact on merging banks’ revenues. We refer to merger related negative effects on banks’ revenues as dissynergies and suggest that they are a result of organizational diseconomies, the loss of customers and the temporary distraction of management from day-to-day operations by effecting the merger. For our analyses we draw on a proprietary data set with detailed financials of all 457 regional savings banks in Germany, which have been involved in 212 mergers between 1994 and 2006. We find that the negative impact of a merger on net operating revenues amounts to 3% of pro-forma consolidated banks’ operating profits and persists not only for the year of the merger but for up to four years post-merger. Only thereafter mergers exhibit a significantly superior performance compared to their respective pre-merger performance or the performance of their non-merging peers. The magnitude and persistence of merger related revenue dissynergies highlight their economic relevance. Previous research on post-merger performance mainly focuses on the effects from mergers on banks’ (cost) efficiency and profitability but fails to provide clear and consistent results. We are the first, to our knowledge, to examine the post-merger performance of banks’ net operating revenues and to empirically verify significant negative implications of mergers for banks’ net operating revenues. We propose that our finding of negative merger related effects on banks’ operating revenues is the reason why previous research fails to show merger related gains.
- The effects of size on local banks´ funding costs (2008)
- Motivated by the recent discussion of the declining importance of deposits as banks´ major source of funding we investigate which factors determine funding costs at local banks. Using a panel data set of more than 800 German local savings and cooperative banks for the period from 1998 to 2004 we show that funding costs are not only driven by the relative share of comparatively cheap deposits of bank´s liabilities but among other factors especially by the size of the bank. In our empirical analysis we find strong and robust evidence that, ceteris paribus, smaller banks exhibit lower funding costs than larger banks suggesting that small banks are able to attract deposits more cheaply than their larger counterparts. We argue that this is the case because smaller banks interact more personally with customers, operate in customers´ geographic proximity and have longer and stronger relationships than larger banks and, hence, are able to charge higher prices for their services. Our finding of a strong influence of bank size on funding costs is also in an in- ternational context of great interest as mergers among small local banks - the key driver of bank growth - are a recent phenomenon not only in European banking that is expected to continue in the future. At the same time, net interest income remains by far the most important source of revenue for most local banks, accounting for approximately 70% of total operating revenues in the case of German local banks. The influence of size on funding costs is of strong economic relevance: our results suggest that an increase in size by 50%, for example, from EUR 500 million in total assets to EUR 750 million (exemplary for M&A transactions among local banks) increases funding costs, ceteris paribus, by approximately 18 basis points which relates to approx. 7% of banks´ average net interest margin.