Moral hazard in the Diamond-Dybvig model of banking
We modify the Diamond-Dybvig model studied in Green and Lin to incorporate a self-interested banker who has a private record-keeping technology. A public record-keeping device does not exist. We find that there is a trade-off between sophisticated contracts that possess relatively good risk-sharing properties but allocate resources inefficiently for incentive reasons, and simple contracts that possess relatively poor risk-sharing properties but economize on the inefficient use of resources. While this trade-off depends on model parameters, we find that simple contracts prevail under a wide ...
Reconciling Orthodox and Heterodox Views on Money and Banking
A wide range of heterodox theories claim that banks are special because they create money in the act of lending. Put another way, banks can create the funding they need ex nihilo, whereas all other agencies must first acquire the funding they need from other parties. Mainstream economic theory largely agrees with this assessment, but questions its theoretical and empirical relevance, preferring to view banks as one of many potentially important actors in the financial market. In this paper, I develop a formal economic model in an attempt to make these ideas precise. The model lends some ...
On the social cost of transparency in monetary economies
I study a class of models commonly used to motivate monetary exchange, extended to include a physical asset whose expected short-run return is subject to exogenous news events, but whose expected long-run return is independent of this information. I show that there are circumstances in which the nondisclosure of news by an asset manager is welfare-improving. When nondisclosure is infeasible, the framework admits a role for government debt. The theory is used to interpret the nondisclosure practices of reputable financial agencies and suggests caveats for legislation designed to promote ...
A Model of U.S. Monetary Policy Before and After the Great Recession
The author studies a simple dynamic general equilibrium monetary model to interpret key macroeconomic developments in the U.S. economy both before and after the Great Recession. In normal times, when the Federal Reserve?s policy rate is above the interest paid on reserves, countercyclical monetary policy works in a textbook manner. When a shock drives the policy rate to the zero lower bound, the economy enters a liquidity-trap scenario in which open market purchases of government securities have no real or nominal effects, apart from expanding the supply of excess reserves in the banking ...
A theory of money and banking
The authors construct a simple environment that combines a limited communication friction and a limited information friction in order to generate a role for money and intermediation. They ask whether there is any reason to expect the emergence of a banking sector (i.e., institutions that combine the business of money creation with the business of intermediation). In their model, the unique equilibrium is characterized partly by the existence of an agent that: (1) creates money (a debt instrument that circulates as a means of payment); (2) lends it out (swapping it for less liquid forms of ...
Whither the Price of Bitcoin?
The total value of Bitcoin has declined as a share of all cryptocurrencies.
Monetary policy with asset-backed money
We study the use of intermediated assets as media of exchange in a neo- classical growth model. An intermediary is delegated control over productive capital and finances itself by issuing claims against the revenue generated by its operations. Unlike physical capital, intermediated claims are assumed to be liquid-they constitute a form of asset-backed money. The intermediary is assumed to control 1) the number of claims outstanding, 2) the dividends paid out to claim holders and 3) the fee charged for collecting the dividend. We find that for patient economies, the first-best allocation can ...
Rehypothecation and Liquidity
We develop a dynamic general equilibrium monetary model where a shortage of collateral and incomplete markets motivate the formation of credit relationships and the rehypothecation of assets. Rehypothecation improves resource allocation because it permits liquidity to flow where it is most needed. The liquidity benefits associated with rehypothecation are shown to be more important in high-inflation (high interest rate) regimes. Regulations restricting the practice are shown to have very different consequences depending on how they are designed. Assigning collateral to segregated accounts, as ...
Scarcity of Safe Assets, Inflation, and the Policy Trap
We construct a model in which all consolidated government debt is used in transactions, with money being more widely acceptable. When asset market constraints bind, the model can deliver low real interest rates and positive rates of inflation at the zero lower bound. Optimal monetary policy in the face of a financial crisis shock implies a positive nominal interest rate. The model reveals some novel perils of Taylor rules.
Preventing Bank Runs
Diamond and Dybvig (1983) is commonly understood as providing a formal rationale for the existence of bank-run equilibria. It has never been clear, however, whether bank-run equilibria in this framework are a natural byproduct of the economic environment or an artifact of suboptimal contractual arrangements. In the class of direct mechanisms, Peck and Shell (2003) demonstrate that bank-run equilibria can exist under an optimal contractual arrangement. The difficulty of preventing runs within this class of mechanism is that banks cannot identify whether withdrawals are being driven by ...