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Author:Ashcraft, Adam B. 

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

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

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

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

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

The Federal Home Loan Bank System: the lender of next-to-last resort?

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System is a large, complex, and understudied government-sponsored liquidity facility that currently has more than $1 trillion in secured loans outstanding, mostly to commercial banks and thrifts. In this paper, we document the significant role played by the FHLB System at the onset of the ongoing financial crises and then provide evidence on the uses of these funds by the System's bank and thrift members. Next, we identify the trade-offs faced by member-borrowers when choosing between accessing the FHLB System or the Federal Reserve's Discount Window during ...
Staff Reports , Paper 357

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

Borrowers' financial constraints and the transmission of monetary policy: evidence from financial conglomerates

Building on recent evidence concerning the functioning of internal capital markets in financial conglomerates, we conduct a novel test of the balance-sheet channel of monetary policy. Specifically, we investigate how the response of lending to monetary policy differs across small banks that are affiliated with the same bank holding company but operate in different geographical areas. These banks face similar constraints in accessing internal and external sources of funds, but have different pools of borrowers. Because they typically concentrate their lending with small local businesses, we ...
Staff Reports , Paper 153

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


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