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Author:Ashcraft, Adam B. 

Report
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
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 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

Conference Paper
Has the development of the structured credit market affected the cost of corporate debt?

The rapid development of structured credit markets permits investors to assume credit risk that in aggregate is frequently many times larger than the amount of debt actually issued by an underlying borrower. Given the apparent increased appetite for corporate credit risk by investors, and the additional information revealed in the structured credit markets, a natural question to ask is whether the development of these markets has been associated with a reduction in the cost of debt financing, giving firms an opportunity to operate with greater leverage. Using Markit data identifying when ...
Proceedings , Issue Nov

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
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

Report
Shadow banking

The rapid growth of the market-based financial system since the mid-1980s changed the nature of financial intermediation in the United States profoundly. Within the market-based financial system, "shadow banks" are particularly important institutions. Shadow banks are financial intermediaries that conduct maturity, credit, and liquidity transformation without access to central bank liquidity or public sector credit guarantees. Examples of shadow banks include finance companies, asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) conduits, limited-purpose finance companies, structured investment vehicles, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 458

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
On the market discipline of informationally opaque firms: evidence from bank borrowers in the federal funds market

Using plausibly exogenous variation in demand for federal funds created by daily shocks to reserve balances, we identify the supply curve facing a bank borrower in the interbank market and study how access to overnight credit is affected by changes in public and private measures of borrower creditworthiness. Although there is evidence that lenders respond to adverse changes in public information about credit quality by restricting access to the market in a fashion consistent with market discipline, there is also evidence that borrowers respond to adverse changes in private information about ...
Staff Reports , Paper 257

Report
Shadow bank monitoring

We provide a framework for monitoring the shadow banking system. 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. Shadow banking activities are often intertwined with core regulated institutions such as bank holding companies, security brokers and dealers, and insurance companies. These interconnections of shadow banks with other ...
Staff Reports , Paper 638

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