Discount Window Lending: Policy Trade-offs and the 1985 BoNY Computer Failure
On November 21, 1985, the Bank of New York (BoNY) suffered a software failure that left it unable to redeliver securities it had received from other institutions as an intermediary. The result of the failure was that the bank sought and received $22.6 billion in discount window lending from the New York Fed, a record-setting amount. The episode presents a case study for considering when discount window lending and similar interventions are justified as a matter of efficiency, as well as the need for policymakers to take account of possible moral hazard that may lead to inadequate safeguards ...
Interventions in Markets with Adverse Selection: Implications for Discount Window Stigma
I study the implications for central bank discount window stigma of the model by Philippon and Skreta (2012). I take an equilibrium perspective for a given discount window program instead of following the program-design approach of the original paper. This allows me to narrow the focus on the model's positive predictions. In the model, firms (banks) need to borrow to finance a productive project. There is limited liability and firms have private information about their ability to repay their debts. This creates an adverse selection problem. The central bank can ameliorate the impact of ...
Bank runs and investment decisions revisited
We examine how the possibility of a bank run affects the deposit contract offered and the investment decisions made by a competitive bank. Cooper and Ross (1998) have shown that when the probability of a run is small, the bank will offer a contract that admits a bank-run equilibrium. We show that, in this case, the bank will chose to hold an amount of liquid reserves exactly equal to what withdrawal demand will be if a run does not occur. In other words, precautionary or "excess" liquidity will not be held. This result allows us to determine how the possibility of a bank run affects the ...
Large excess reserves in the U.S.: a view from the cross-section of banks
Bank reserves in the United States increased dramatically at the end of 2008. Subsequent asset purchase programs in 2009 and 2011 more than doubled the quantity of reserves outstanding. These events required major adjustments in banks' balance sheets. We study the evolution of reserve holdings across banks from the fall of 2008 until the middle of 2011 and document how banks' balance sheets changed concurrently. Motivated by the potential implications for monetary policy of operating with a high level of reserves, we focus particular attention on those banks which accumulated large quantities ...
Search, money, and inflation under private information
I study a version of the Lagos-Wright (2003) model of monetary exchange in which buyers have private information about their tastes and sellers make take-it-or-leave-it-offers (i.e., have the power to set prices and quantities). The introduction of imperfect information makes the existence of monetary equilibrium a more robust feature of the environment. In general, the model has a monetary steady state in which only a proportion of the agents hold money. Agents who do not hold money cannot participate in trade in the decentralized market. The proportion of agents holding money is endogenous ...
Strategic behavior in the tri-party repo market
The repo market in the United States played a significant role during the 2007?2009 global financial crisis. A large portion of the transactions in this market take the form of a tri-party repo, where a third party (a clearing bank) intermediates between the borrower and the lender. The sudden withdrawal of tri-party repo funding was a critical factor leading to the demise of Bear Stearns. It is now widely believed that the tri-party repo infrastructure has some serious vulnerabilities. Using non-cooperative game theory to analyze the strategic interactions between the main players in this ...
Commitment and equilibrium bank runs
We study the role of commitment in a version of the Diamond-Dybvig model with no aggregate uncertainty. As is well known, the banking authority can eliminate the possibility of a bank run by committing to suspend payments to depositors if a run were to start. We show, however, that in an environment without commitment, the banking authority will choose to only partially suspend payments during a run. In some cases, the reduction in early payouts under this partial suspension is insufficient to dissuade depositors from participating in the run. Bank runs can then occur with positive ...
Understanding Discount Window Stigma
The discount window is a tool that the Federal Reserve has long used to increase the stability of the financial system, but some believe its effectiveness is diminished by stigma: institutions may avoid borrowing from it out of concern that they may be perceived as being in weakened financial condition. Recent Richmond Fed research has shed new light on the functioning of the discount window and the role that stigma may play in achieving desirable outcomes.
Interest on reserves and daylight credit
Run equilibria in a model of financial intermediation
We study the Green and Lin (2003) model of financial intermediation with two new features: traders may face a cost of contacting the intermediary, and consumption needs may be correlated across traders. We show that each feature is capable of generating an equilibrium in which some (but not all) traders ?run? on the intermediary by withdrawing their funds at the first opportunity regardless of their true consumption needs. Our results also provide some insight into elements of the economic environment that are necessary for a run equilibrium to exist in general models of financial ...