Measuring systemic risk
Measuring systemic risk
We present a simple model of systemic risk and show how each financial institution?s contribution to systemic risk can be measured and priced. An institution?s contribution, denoted systemic expected shortfall (SES), is its propensity to be undercapitalized when the system as a whole is undercapitalized, which increases in its leverage, volatility, correlation, and tail-dependence. Institutions internalize their externality if they are ?taxed? based on their SES. Through several examples, we demonstrate empirically the ability of components of SES to predict emerging systemic risk during the ...
How do global banks scramble for liquidity? Evidence from the asset-backed commercial paper freeze of 2007
We investigate how banks scrambled for liquidity following the asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) market freeze of August 2007 and its implications for corporate borrowing. Commercial banks in the United States raised dollar deposits and took advances from Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs), while foreign banks had limited access to such alternative dollar funding. Relative to before the ABCP freeze and relative to their non-dollar lending, foreign banks with ABCP exposure charged higher interest rates to corporations for dollar-denominated syndicated loans. The results point to a funding risk ...
Caught between Scylla and Charybdis? Regulating bank leverage when there is rent seeking and risk shifting
We consider a model in which banking is characterized by asset substitution moral hazard and managerial underprovision of effort in loan monitoring. The privately optimal bank leverage efficiently balances the benefit of debt in providing the discipline to ensure that the bank monitors its loans against the benefit of equity in attenuating asset-substitution moral hazard. However, when correlated bank failures impose significant social costs, regulators bail out bank creditors. Anticipation of this action generates multiple equilibria, including an equilibrium featuring systemic risk, in ...
Robust capital regulation
Banks? leverage choices represent a delicate balancing act. Credit discipline argues for more leverage, while balance-sheet opacity and ease of asset substitution argue for less. Meanwhile, regulatory safety nets promote ex post financial stability, but also create perverse incentives for banks to engage in correlated asset choices and to hold little equity capital. As a way to cope with these distorted incentives, we outline a two-tier capital framework for banks. The first tier is a regular core capital requirement that helps deter excessive risk-taking incentives. The second tier, a novel ...
Which Dealers Borrowed from the Fed’s Lender-of-Last-Resort Facilities?
During the 2007-08 financial crisis, the Fed established lending facilities designed to improve market functioning by providing liquidity to nondepository financial institutions?the first lending targeted to this group since the 1930s. What was the financial condition of the dealers that borrowed from these facilities? Were they healthy institutions behaving opportunistically or were they genuinely distressed? In published research, we find that dealers in a weaker financial condition were more likely to participate than healthier ones and tended to borrow more. Our findings reinforce the ...
Systemic risk and deposit insurance premiums
Professor Viral Acharya of the London Business School and New York University collaborates with New York Fed economists Joo Santos and Tanju Yorulmazer to analyze various ways to incorporate systemic risk into deposit insurance premiums. Presented at "Central Bank Liquidity Tools and Perspectives on Regulatory Reform" a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, February 19-20, 2009.
Robust capital regulation
Regulators and markets can find the balance sheets of large financial institutions difficult to penetrate, and they are mindful of how undercapitalization can create incentives to take on excessive risk. This study proposes a novel framework for capital regulation that addresses banks' incentives to take on excessive risk and leverage. The framework consists of a special capital account in addition to a core capital requirement. The special account would accrue to a bank's shareholders as long as the bank is solvent, but would pass to the bank's regulators?rather than its creditors?if the ...
Zombie Credit and (Dis-)Inflation: Evidence from Europe
We show that “zombie credit”—cheap credit to impaired firms—has a disinflationary effect. By helping distressed firms to stay afloat, such credit creates excess production capacity, thereby putting downward pressure on product prices. Granular European data on inflation, firms, and banks confirm this mechanism. Industry-country pairs affected by a rise of zombie credit show lower firm entry and exit rates, markups, and product prices, as well as a misallocation of capital and labor, which results in lower productivity, investment, and value added. Without a rise in zombie credit, ...
Dealer financial conditions and lender-of-last resort facilities
We examine the financial conditions of dealers that participated in two of the Federal Reserve?s lender-of-last-resort (LOLR) facilities--the Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF) and the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF)--that provided liquidity against a range of assets during 2008-09. Dealers with lower equity returns and greater leverage prior to borrowing from the facilities were more likely to participate in the programs, borrow more, and--in the case of the TSLF--at higher bidding rates. Dealers with less liquid collateral on their balance sheets before the facilities were ...