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Our Mission

Financial Intermediaries and the Real Economy (FIRE) at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is a research-led think tank that promotes research and best practices on central issues facing economies and financial markets. FIRE builds on Frankfurt School’s high-class faculty to generate insights from the connection between practice and theory.

Our overall objective in the Centre is to conduct and disseminate new research across a wide array of financial topics and bring together academics, practitioners and regulators. Across different initiatives, our team provides high-level as well as in-depth research and analyses, develops and implements innovative projects, advises on policy development and changes, and provides training and workshops.Topics include banks and financial services, financial crises, monetary policy, debt markets, FinTechs and climate risk. Overall, the centre’s work focuses on the role of finance in solving today’s societal problems with a focus on Europe and the European Economy.



Zacharias Sautner

Prof. Dr. Zacharias Sautner

Professor of Finance

Tobias Berg

Prof. Dr. Tobias Berg

Professor of Finance

Kornelia Fabisik

Prof. Dr. Kornelia Fabisik

Assistant Professor of Finance

Falko Fecht

Prof. Dr. Falko Fecht

DZ Bank Professor of Financial  Economics

Schäfer Larissa

Prof. Dr. Larissa Schaefer

Assistant Professor of Finance

Sascha Steffen

Prof. Dr. Sascha Steffen

Professor of Finance

Current Initiatives

AI in Finance

Financial Big Data Cluster (safeFBDC) – AI & Monetary Policy (BMWi,€1mn)

We explore the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in central banking. AI/ML can strengthen policy analysis and decision-making, e.g. by providing tools as well as more and enhanced information to complement existing policy data.

Duration: 2021-2023

Private Capital Initiative

Bank Credit and the Macroeconomy – Cross-country evidence (DFG, €141,000)

We empirically investigate the role of bank credit in the macroeconomy across countries with a focus on the U.S. and Europe. In one project, we develop a loan market-based credit spread, explore its predictive power for industry-level and aggregate macroeconomic variables and investigate whether it reflects frictions in the supply of bank lending to non-financial firms.

Duration: 2020-2022

Green Finance Initiative

We investigate and understand the role of financial intermediaries in driving climate change. How should banks and markets be regulated? What is the role of central banks in this process? How do “climate stress test” affect banks and markets?

Media Coverage

KI & Bank Noten

Reuters Article

Big Data und KI - Notenbanken wollen Datenschatz heben

Der Frankfurter Finanzwissenschaftler Sascha Steffen geht in einem Forschungsprojekt der Frage nach, wie Methoden der künstlichen Intelligenz (KI) die Arbeit der Währungshüter voranbringen können:


Handelsblatt Article

Mit KI wollen Frankfurter Forscher die Geldpolitik effizienter machen

Professor Sascha Steffen von der Frankfurt School for Finance and Management entwickelt mit einem vorerst auf drei Jahre angelegten Forschungsprojekt neue Werkzeuge, die helfen sollen, die Geldpolitik effizienter zu machen.


Frankfurt School News

Sascha Steffen appointed new Vice President Research at Frankfurt School

Following his appointment by the business school’s Faculty Council, the Professor of Finance assumed his role on 1 July 2021. The newly created position is intended to further strengthen Frankfurt School’s focus on research. 

COVID-19 Research

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected economies globally. We provide in-depth analyses through academic research, white papers and discussions with industry and policy leaders as to the effects of COVID-19 and the responses of governments and central banks. Our focus is on the effects on firms and banks.

COVID-19 Contribution


Recent Research publications 

  • Acharya, V.V. Chauhan,S.,R. Rajan, R., and S. Steffen, 2022. Liquidity Dependence: Why Shrinking Central Bank Balance Sheets is an Uphill Task, Draft

  • Berg, T., A. Saunders, and S. Steffen, 2021. Trends in Corporate Borrowing, Annual Review of Financial Economics, forthcoming.

  • Ilhan, E., Z. Sautner, and G. Vilkov, 2021. Carbon Tail Risk, Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming.

  • Reisinger, M., and D. Streitz. Handling Spillover Effects in Empirical Research, Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming.

  • Cremers, M.,  A. Pareek, and Z. Sautner, 2021. Short-Term Institutions, Analyst Recommendations, and Mispricing: The Role of Higher-Order Beliefs, Journal of Accounting Research,  forthcoming

  • Acharya, V.V., M. Jager, S. Steffen, and L. Steinruecke, 2020. Kicking the can down the road: government interventions in the European banking sector, Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming.

  • Burg, V., A. Gombović, and M. Puri, 2020. On the Rise of FinTechs: Credit Scoring using Digital Footprints, Review of Financial Studies, 33(7), 2845-2897.

  • Berg, T., A. Saunders, L. Schäfer, and S. Steffen, 2020. “Brexit” and the Contraction of Syndicated Lending, Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming.

  • Acharya, V.V., B. Imbierowicz, D. Teichmann, and S. Steffen, 2020. Does the Lack of Financial Stability Impair the Transmission of Monetary Policy? Journal of Financial Economics, 138 (2), 342-365.

  • Acharya, V., and S. Steffen, 2020. The risk of being a fallen angel and the corporate dash for cash in the midst of COVID, Review of Corporate Finance Studies, 9, 430-471.

  • Ladika, T., and Z. Sautner, 2020. Managerial Short-Termism and Investment: Evidence from Accelerated Option Vesting, Review of Finance, 24(2), 305-344.

  • Cremers, M., A. Pareek, and Z. Sautner, 2020. Short-Term Investors, Long-Term Investments, and Firm Value: Evidence from Index Inclusions, Management Science, 66(10), 4535-4551.

  • Krueger, P., Z. Sautner, and L. Starks, 2020. The Importance of Climate Risks for Institutional Investors, Review of Financial Studies, 33(3),1067-1111.

  • Große-Rueschkamp, B., S. Steffen, and D. Streitz, 2019. A Capital Structure Channel of Monetary Policy. Journal of Financial Economics, 133 (2), 357-378.

  • Fabisik, K., R. Fahlenbrach, R.M. Stulz, and J.Taillard, 2018. Why Are Firms with More Managerial Ownership Worth Less? Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming

Policy contributions

  • Lautenbacher, S., J. Miethe, A. Peichl, S. Rumscheidt, and S. Steffen, 2021. Eigenkapital staerken?! Im Rahmen des Vertrags zur Erstellung volkswirtschaftlicher Studien, IHK für München und Oberbayern, ifo Zentrum für Makroökonomik und Befragungen.

  • Acharya, V., and S. Steffen, 2020. The risk of being a fallen angel and the corporate dash for cash in the midst of COVID, Covid Economics,10, 44-61.

  • Acharya, V., and S. Steffen, 2020. “Stress Test” for Banks as Liquidity Insurers in a time of COVID. VoxEU.

  • Schularick, M., and S. Steffen, 2020. A Protective Shield for Europe’s Banks.

Selected Events


For Live Tweets on Events, click here

Conference on Regulating Financial Markets 

The 2022 Conference on Financial Market Regulation was held at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management on 22-23rd August. It was jointly organised by the Deutsche Bundesbank, Foundation of Law and Finance of the Goethe University, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, and CEPR.

Over the two days, academics and practitioners discussed their research concerning bank capital regulation, green finance, and the regulation of debt capital markets. The event featured thought-provoking Keynote speeches from Itay Goldstein (Wharton), Manju Puri (Duke), and Roland Koch (former Minister-President of the German state of Hessen).

This year´s conference provided an ideal forum for invited scholars from Europe and the USA to discuss and share research results on the financial regulatory landscape. The conference has been held annually since 2017 and this was the first time in two years following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Click here for the Conference programme

Past Events

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