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  • Author: Simona Nistor x
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This paper investigates the impact of the degree of capital account openness on banks’ exposure to extreme events during the period 2005-2012 using a sample of financial institutions from Central and Eastern Europe. The empirical output highlights a positive and strongly significant impact of a higher degree of financial openness on banks’ systemic vulnerability. Robust findings suggest that this harmful effect is lower for foreign owned banks or for those whose bank holding company signed one or more Vienna Initiative commitment letters. On the other side, tighter capital regulations and private monitoring policies enhance the positive impact of a higher degree of capital accounts openness on banks’ vulnerability to systemic events.


This paper aims to investigate the effects of the assets and liabilities structure of financial institutions considered for regulatory purposes on their probability of default, across a sample of European banks that are designated as Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs). Our analysis spans from 1995 to 2018. The empirical findings of a Fixed Effects panel model indicate that characteristics like size, complexity and cross-jurisdictional activities have a considerable impact on banks’ distance to default. This study also finds that financial institutions with greater Capital Tier1 ratios are more likely to have a lower probability of default, a result that highlights the importance of implementing the BASEL III Capital Accord specifications.


Background: We hypothesized that an ideal heart valve replacement would be acellular valve root scaffolds seeded with autologous stem cells. To test this hypothesis, we prepared porcine acellular pulmonary valves, seeded them with autologous adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) and implanted them in sheep and compared them to acellular valves.

Methods: Fresh porcine pulmonary valve roots were decellularized with detergents and enzymes. ADSCs were isolated from subdermal fat and injected within the acellular cusps. Valves were then implanted in an extra-anatomic pulmonary position as RV to PA shunts: Group A (n=6) consisted of acellular valves and Group B (n=6) of autologous stem cell-seeded acellular xenografts. Sheep were followed up for 6 months by echocardiography and histologic analysis was performed on explanted valves.

Results: Early evolution was favorable for both groups. All Group A animals had physiologic growth without any signs of heart failure and leaflets were found with preserved structure and mobility, lacking signs of thrombi, inflammation or calcification. Group B sheep however expressed signs of right ventricle failure starting at one month, accompanied by progressive regurgitation and right ventricle dilatation, and the leaflets were found covered with host tissue. No cells were found in any Group A or B explants.

Conclusions: Acellular stabilized xenogeneic pulmonary valves are reliable, stable, non-immunogenic, non-thrombogenic and non-calcifying scaffolds with excellent hemodynamics. Seeding these scaffolds with autologous ADSCs was not conducive to tissue regeneration. Studies aimed at understanding these novel observations and further harnessing the potential of stem cells are ongoing.