Have Stress Tests Impacted Small-Business Lending?
The Federal Reserve conducts stress tests of the largest bank holding companies to ensure that the banking system has sufficient capital to stay financially sound in the event of worsening economic conditions. Some groups have raised concerns that the stress tests will reduce lending to small businesses. This article describes recent research investigating the impact of the stress tests on small-business lending. It finds that the banks that are most affected by stress tests have reduced their small-business credit, but aggregate credit to small businesses has not fallen.
Moving to a job: The role of home equity, debt, and access to credit
Using credit report data from two of the three major credit bureaus in the United States, we infer with high certainty whether households move to other labor markets defined by metropolitan areas. We estimate how moving patterns relate to labor market conditions, personal credit, and homeownership using panel regressions with fixed effects which control for all constant individual-specific traits. We interpret the patterns through simulations of a dynamic model of consumption, housing, and location choice. We find that homeowners with negative home equity move more than other homeowners, in ...
The Rise and Fall of Consumption in the 2000s
U.S. consumption has gone through steep ups and downs since the turn of the millennium, but the causes of these fluctuations are still imperfectly identified. We quantify the relative impact on consumption growth of income, unemployment, house prices, credit scores, debt, expectations, foreclosures, inequality, and refinancings for four subperiods: the ?dot-com recession? (2001-2003), the ?subprime boom? (2004-2006), the Great Recession (2007-2009), and the ?tepid recovery? (2010-2012). We document that the explanatory power of different factors varies by subperiods, implying that a ...
Financial crises and bank failures: a review of prediction methods
In this article we analyze financial and economic circumstances associated with the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and the global financial turmoil that has led to severe crises in many countries. We suggest that the level of cross-border holdings of long-term securities between the United States and the rest of the world may indicate a direct link between the turmoil in the securitized market originated in the United States and that in other countries. We provide a summary of empirical results obtained in several Economics and Operations Research papers that attempt to explain, predict, or ...
A Gap in Regulation and the Looser Lending Standards that Followed
New research highlights how disparities in the regulatory treatment of banks and shadow banking organizations before the fi nancial crisis allowed heavily-regulated bank holding companies to lend through their less-regulated subsidiaries. Doing so helped them to conserve their regulatory capital, avoid recognizing costly loan losses, and pursue riskier lending while still adhering to banking regulations.
Stress Tests and Small Business Lending
Post-crisis stress tests have altered banks? credit supply to small business. Banks affected by stress tests reduce credit supply and raise interest rates on small business loans. Banks price the implied increase in capital requirements from stress tests where they have local knowledge, and exit markets where they do not, as quantities fall most in markets where stress-tested banks do not own branches near borrowers, and prices rise mainly where they do. These reductions in supply are concentrated among risky borrowers. Stress tests do not, however, reduce aggregate credit. Small banks ...
Mortgage companies and regulatory arbitrage
Mortgage companies (MCs) originated about 60% of all mortgages before the 2007 crisis and continue to hold a 30% market share postcrisis. While financial regulations are strictly enforced for depository institutions (banks), they are weakly enforced for MCs even if they are subsidiaries of a bank holding company (BHC). This study documents that the resulting regulatory arbitrage creates incentives for BHCs to engage in risk shifting through their MC affiliates. We show that MCs are established to circumvent the capital requirements and to shield the parent BHCs from loan-related losses. BHCs ...
Understanding the subprime mortgage crisis
We analyze the subprime mortgage crisis: an unusually large fraction of subprime mortgages originated in 2006 being delinquent or in foreclosure only months later. We utilize a loan-level database, covering about half of all US subprime mortgages, and identify two major causes. First, over the past five years, high loan-to-value borrowers increasingly became high-risk borrowers, in terms of elevated delinquency and foreclosure rates. Lenders were aware of this and adjusted mortgage rates accordingly over time. Second, the below-average house price appreciation in 2006-2007 further contributed ...
Does Fiscal Stimulus Work when Recessions Are Caused by Too Much Private Debt?
We argue that fiscal stimulus funded by public debt is effective for increasing economic activity and employment even in recessions that are caused by overborrowing in the private sector. We analyze the impact of government spending on local economies between 2007 and 2009 and find evidence that the fiscal multiplier is higher in geographical areas characterized by higher individual household debt. The higher multiplier in those areas might be attributed to a direct increase in both household consumption and local economic slack.
Quick exits of subprime mortgages
All holders of mortgage contracts, regardless of type, have three options: keep their payments current, prepay (usually through refinancing), or default on the loan. The latter two options terminate the loan. The termination rates of subprime mortgages that originated each year from 2001 through 2006 are surprisingly similar: about 20, 50, and 80 percent, respectively, at one, two, and three years after origination. For loans originated when house prices appreciated the most, terminations were dominated by prepayments. For loans originated when the housing market slowed, defaults dominated. ...