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Author:Lehnert, Andreas 

Working Paper
Pricing systemic crises: monetary and fiscal policy when savers are uncertain

The return on assets depends on the joint behavior of all savers; if all sell the asset simultaneously, then there will be a financial "Armageddon." We assume that risk-neutral savers' information about aggregate investment is too vague to form precise probability estimates, so they have Knightian uncertainty, and thus act to maximize their minimum payoff. Savers invest in a risky asset (economy-wide production) and in a riskless asset (government bonds). In times of high uncertainty, savers hold too many government bonds, lowering output. A monetary policy of lowering the risk-free rate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1999-33

Working Paper
An analysis of the potential competitive impacts of Basel II capital standards on U.S. mortgage rates and mortgage securitization

Basel II White Paper , Paper 3

Working Paper
Asset pooling, credit rationing, and growth

I study the effect of improved financial intermediation on the process of capital accumulation by augmenting a standard model with a general contract space. With the extra contracts, intermediaries endogenously begin using ROSCAs, or Rotating Savings and Credit Associations. These contracts allow poor agents, previously credit rationed, access to credit. As a result, agents work harder and total economy-wide output increases; however, these gains come at the cost of increased inequality. I provide sufficient conditions for the allocations to be Pareto optimal, and for there to be a unique ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1998-52

Working Paper
Designing loan modifications to address the mortgage crisis and the making home affordable program

Delinquencies on residential mortgages and home foreclosures have risen dramatically in the past couple of years. The mortgage losses triggered a broad-based financial crisis and severe recession, which, in turn, exacerbated the initial financial distress faced by homeowners. Although servicers increased their loss mitigation efforts as defaults began to mount, foreclosures continued to occur in cases where both the borrower and investor would be better off if such an outcome were avoided. The U.S. government has engaged in a number of initiatives to reduce such foreclosures. This paper ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-43

Working Paper
Financial Vulnerabilities, Macroeconomic Dynamics, and Monetary Policy

We define a measure to be a financial vulnerability if, in a VAR framework that allows for nonlinearities, an impulse to the measure leads to an economic contraction. We evaluate alternative macrofinancial imbalances as vulnerabilities: nonfinancial sector credit, risk appetite of financial market participants, and the leverage and short-term funding of financial firms. We find that nonfinancial credit is a vulnerability: impulses to the credit-to-GDP gap when it is high leads to a recession. Risk appetite leads to an economic expansion in the near-term, but also higher credit and a recession ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-055

Working Paper
The incentives of mortgage servicers: myths and realities

As foreclosure initiations have soared over the past couple of years, many have questioned whether mortgage servicers have the right incentives to work out troubled subprime mortgages so that borrowers can avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes. Some critics claim that because servicers, unlike investors, do not bear the losses associated with foreclosure, they have little incentive to modify troubled loans by reducing interest rates or principal, or by extending the term. Our analysis suggests that while servicers have substantially improved borrower outreach and increased loss ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-46

Supervisory stress tests

This article describes the background, design choices and particular details of stress tests used as part of an overall supervisory regime; that is, their formal integration into the process of the ongoing prudential supervision of banks and other large financial institutions. We then describe how the U.S. CCAR/DFAST regime is designed and what that means for the macroprudential vs. microprudential nature of the U.S. exercises. We argue routine stress tests have the potential to substantially change the nature of the supervisory process. In addition, we argue that a great deal depends on the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 696

Working Paper
Increasing returns and optimal oscillating labor supply

Models featuring increasing returns to scale in at least one factor of production have been used to study two separate phenomena: (1) multiplicity of self-fulfilling rational expectations equilibria (i.e. sunspots), and (2) production schedules that optimally feature bunching. We show in a continuous-time model with increasing returns to labor (IRL) that if the economy features multiple competitive equilibria, the optimal path of investment, employment and consumption cannot be constant, or even smoothly-varying. Any macroeconomic policies that shielded the economy from sunspot fluctuations ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2002-22

Discussion Paper
Making sense of the subprime crisis

This paper explores the question of whether market participants could have or should have anticipated the large increase in foreclosures that occurred in 2007 and 2008. Most of these foreclosures stem from loans originated in 2005 and 2006, leading many to suspect that lenders originated a large volume of extremely risky loans during this period. However, the authors show that while loans originated in this period did carry extra risk factors, particularly increased leverage, underwriting standards alone cannot explain the dramatic rise in foreclosures. Focusing on the role of house prices, ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 09-1

Personal bankruptcy and credit market competition

The effect of credit market competition on borrower default is theoretically ambiguous, because the quantity of credit supplied may rise or fall following an increase in competition. We investigate empirically the relationship between credit market competition, lending to households, and personal bankruptcy rates in the United States. We exploit the exogenous variation in market contestability brought on by banking deregulation at the state level: after deregulation, banks faced the threat of entry into their state markets. We find that deregulation increased competition for borrowers, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 272


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