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Author:Ashcraft, Adam B. 

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Does the market discipline banks? New evidence from the regulatory capital mix

Although bank capital regulation permits a bank to choose freely between equity and subordinated debt to meet capital requirements, lenders and investors view debt and equity as imperfect substitutes. It follows that the mix of debt in regulatory capital should isolate the role that the market plays in disciplining banks. I document that since the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (FDICIA) reduced the ability of the FDIC to absorb losses of subordinated debt investors, the mix of debt has had a positive effect on the future outcomes of distressed banks, as if the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 244

Report
Defaults and losses on commercial real estate bonds during the Great Depression era

We employ a unique data set of public commercial real estate (CRE) bonds issued during the Great Depression era (1920-32) to determine their frequency of default and total loss given default. Default rates on these bonds far exceeded those originated in subsequent periods, driven in part by the greater economic stress of the Depression as well as the lower level of financial sophistication of investors and structures that prevailed in 1920-32. Our results confirm that making loans with higher loan-to-value ratios results in higher rates of default and loss. They also support the business ...
Staff Reports , Paper 544

Report
Precautionary reserves and the interbank market

Liquidity hoarding by banks and extreme volatility of the fed funds rate have been widely seen as severely disrupting the interbank market and the broader financial system during the 2007-08 financial crisis. Using data on intraday account balances held by banks at the Federal Reserve and Fedwire interbank transactions to estimate all overnight fed funds trades, we present empirical evidence on banks' precautionary hoarding of reserves, their reluctance to lend, and extreme fed funds rate volatility. We develop a model with credit and liquidity frictions in the interbank market consistent ...
Staff Reports , Paper 370

Report
Shadow banking: a review of the literature

We provide an overview of the rapidly evolving literature on shadow credit intermediation. The shadow banking system consists of a web of specialized financial institutions that conduct credit, maturity, and liquidity transformation without direct, explicit access to public backstops. The lack of such access to sources of government liquidity and credit backstops makes shadow banks inherently fragile. Much of shadow banking activities is intertwined with the operations of core regulated institutions such as bank holding companies and insurance companies, thus creating a source of systemic ...
Staff Reports , Paper 580

Journal Article
Shadow banking

The rapid growth of the market-based financial system since the mid-1980s has changed the nature of financial intermediation. Within the system, ?shadow banks? have served a critical role, especially in the run-up to the recent financial crisis. Shadow banks are financial intermediaries that conduct maturity, credit, and liquidity transformation without explicit access to central bank liquidity or public sector credit guarantees. This article documents the institutional features of shadow banks, discusses the banks? economic roles, and analyzes their relation to the traditional banking ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Dec , Pages 1-16

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Shadow banking regulation

Shadow banks conduct credit intermediation without direct, explicit access to public sources of liquidity and credit guarantees. Shadow banks contributed to the credit boom in the early 2000s and collapsed during the financial crisis of 2007-09. We review the rapidly growing literature on shadow banking and provide a conceptual framework for its regulation. Since the financial crisis, regulatory reform efforts have aimed at strengthening the stability of the shadow banking system. We review the implications of these reform efforts for shadow funding sources including asset-backed commercial ...
Staff Reports , Paper 559

Report
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act: means-testing or mean spirited?

Thousands of U.S. households filed for bankruptcy just before the bankruptcy law changed in 2005. That rush-to-file was more pronounced, we find, in states with more generous bankruptcy exemptions and lower credit scores. We take that finding as evidence that the new law effectively reduces exemptions, which in turn should reduce the ?demand? for bankruptcy and the resulting losses to suppliers of consumer credit. We expect the savings to suppliers will be shared with borrowers by way of lower credit card rates, although credit card spreads have not yet fallen. If cheaper credit is the upside ...
Staff Reports , Paper 279

Report
New evidence on the lending channel

Do banks play a special role in the transmission mechanism of monetary policy? I use the presence of internal capital markets in bank holding companies to isolate plausibly exogenous variation in the financial constraints faced by subsidiary banks. In particular, I demonstrate that affiliated bank loan growth is less sensitive to changes in the federal funds rate than that of unaffiliated banks, and that these relatively unconstrained banks are better able to smooth insured deposit outflows by issuing uninsured debt. State loan growth also becomes less sensitive to changes in the federal ...
Staff Reports , Paper 136

Report
Understanding the securitization of subprime mortgage credit

In this paper, we provide an overview of the subprime mortgage securitization process and the seven key informational frictions that arise. We discuss the ways that market participants work to minimize these frictions and speculate on how this process broke down. We continue with a complete picture of the subprime borrower and the subprime loan, discussing both predatory borrowing and predatory lending. We present the key structural features of a typical subprime securitization, document how rating agencies assign credit ratings to mortgage-backed securities, and outline how these agencies ...
Staff Reports , Paper 318

Report
Has the credit derivatives swap market lowered the cost of corporate debt?

There have been widespread claims that credit derivatives such as the credit default swap (CDS) have lowered the cost of firms' debt financing by creating for investors new hedging opportunities and information. However, these instruments also give banks an opaque means to sever links to their borrowers, thus reducing lender incentives to screen and monitor. In this paper, we evaluate the effect that the onset of CDS trading has on the spreads that underlying firms pay at issue when they seek funding in the corporate bond and syndicated loan markets. Employing matched-sample methods, we find ...
Staff Reports , Paper 290

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