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Author:Marsh, W. Blake 

Working Paper
Flight to Liquidity or Safety? Recent Evidence from the Municipal Bond Market

We examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent monetary and fiscal policy actions on municipal bond market pricing. Using high-frequency trading data, we estimate key policy events at the peak of the crisis by focusing on a sample of bonds within a narrow window before and after each policy event. We find that policy interventions, in particular those with explicit credit backstops, were effective in alleviating municipal bond market stress. Next, we exploit daily variation in traded municipal bonds and virus exposure across U.S. counties. We find a shift in how bond investors ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-19

Working Paper
Supervisory Stringency, Payout Restrictions, and Bank Equity Prices

I study investor responses to the 2020 bank stress tests that included restrictions on shareholder payouts. I find that banks subject to the stress tests and payout restrictions experienced both immediate and persistently lower excess stock price returns. In the cross-section, I find that excess stock returns declined with bank size but cannot otherwise be explained by pre-pandemic bank or payout characteristics, suggesting that investors penalized banks likely to experience greater regulatory scrutiny. However, the excess stock return penalties are smaller than those previously estimated in ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 22-01

Journal Article
Do Adverse Oil Price Shocks Change Loan Contract Terms for Energy Firms?

This article examined whether the relationship between creditworthiness and loan spreads for energy firms in the syndicated loan market changed after the 2014 oil-price shock. {{p}} The authors use syndicated loans, which are jointly funded by several financial institutions, because the syndicated loan market is a major source of debt financing for oil firms. Credit conditions tightened following the oil-price shock in mid-2014.
Economic Review , Issue Q IV , Pages 59-86

Working Paper
Competition and Bank Fragility

Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 17-6

Journal Article
The Implications of Unrealized Losses for Banks

nterest rates have risen across the yield curve since the Federal Open Market Committee began tightening monetary policy in March 2022. After amassing securities during the pandemic, commercial banks saw rising interest rates erode the value of their securities portfolios by nearly $600 billion, or about 30 percent of their capital holdings. In some cases, declines in valuation of securities holdings in response to interest rate changes—known as “unrealized losses”—can mechanically reduce key regulatory capital and liquidity ratios. Should banks need to sell the securities to generate ...
Economic Review , Volume vol. 108 , Issue no. 2 , Pages 20

Journal Article
How Did Banks and Investors Respond to the 2020 Stress Test Results?

In this paper, I examine how the announcement of the payout restrictions influenced bank capital levels and stock prices. I find that the restrictions helped build capital levels at large banks but may have indirectly hampered stock price returns. First, I show that surprisingly strong income growth combined with the payout restrictions drovecapital to near record levels during this period. Second, I show that the payout restrictions had only a minimal effect on stock prices for most banks. Instead, the threat of increased supervisory stringency appears to have generated more persistent ...
Economic Review , Volume 107 , Issue no.1

Journal Article
Pushing the Limit: Last-Minute Debt Limit Resolutions Have Increased Market Volatility and Uncertainty

Since reaching the debt limit in January 2023, the U.S. Treasury has used extraordinary measures to fund the government. However, the Treasury estimates those measures will be exhausted later this year. To gauge possible effects, we review economic and financial market outcomes during previous debt limit episodes. In each case, these episodes led to increased borrowing costs, financial market volatility, and uncertainty, particularly when the resolutions were prolonged.
Economic Bulletin , Issue February 22, 2023 , Pages 4

Journal Article
Understanding the Recent Rise in Municipal Bond Yields

In late March, investors sold off municipal bonds at a rapid pace, depressing municipal bond prices and driving up their yields relative to U.S. Treasuries. We find that this initial investor run on the municipal bond market was likely due to increased liquidity demand rather than credit concerns, making the Federal Reserve’s early actions to relieve liquidity stress effective. Going forward, however, municipal bond prices will likely reflect increased credit concerns.
Economic Bulletin , Issue May 27, 2020 , Pages 4

Working Paper
The U.S. Syndicated Loan Market : Matching Data

We introduce a new software package for determining linkages between datasets without common identifiers. We apply these methods to three datasets commonly used in academic research on syndicated lending: Refinitiv LPC DealScan, the Shared National Credit Database, and S&P Global Market Intelligence Compustat. We benchmark the results of our match using results from the literature and previously matched files that are publicly available. We find that the company level matching is enhanced by careful cleaning of the data and considering hierarchical relationships. For loan level matching, a ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-085

Journal Article
Trends in the Labor Share Post-2000

The labor share of income declined sharply in the United States from 2000 to 2010 but seems to have stabilized since 2010. We examine aggregate trends in the labor share and show that the 2000?10 decline was driven by declines in the fraction of income paid to workers in all industries. The stabilization in the labor share after 2010 mostly reflects an increased share of services industries income paid to workers.
Macro Bulletin , Issue December 6, 2018 , Pages 1-4


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