The Credit Line Channel
Aggregate bank lending to ﬁrms expands following adverse macroeconomic shocks, such as the outbreak of COVID-19 or a monetary policy tightening, at odds with canonical models. Using loan-level supervisory data, we show that these dynamics are driven by draws on credit lines by large ﬁrms. Banks that experience larger drawdowns restrict term lending more — an externality onto smaller ﬁrms. Using a structural model, we show that credit lines are necessary to reproduce the ﬂow of credit toward less constrained ﬁrms after adverse shocks. While credit lines increase total credit ...
Are Banks Exposed to Interest Rate Risk?
While banks seem to face inherent risk from short-term interest rate changes, in practice they structure their balance sheets to avoid exposure to such risk. Nonetheless, recent research finds that banks cannot offload all of the interest rate risk they are naturally exposed to. Historically, banks’ profit margins reflect their compensation for taking on interest rate risk and their stock prices are highly sensitive to changes in interest rates. These findings can help practitioners assess banks’ risk exposures and may have implications for unconventional monetary policy.
We develop a simple model of relationship lending where lenders have an incentive to evergreen loans by offering better terms to less productive and more indebted firms. We detect such lending distortions using loan-level supervisory data for the United States. Low-capitalized banks systematically distort their risk assessments of firms to window-dress their balance sheets and extend relatively more credit to underreported borrowers. Consistent with our theoretical predictions, these effects are driven by larger outstanding loans and low-productivity firms. We incorporate the theoretical ...
Modeling Financial Crises
Research has revealed several facts about financial crises based on historical data. Crises are rare events that are associated with severe recessions that are typically deeper than normal recessions. They are usually preceded by a buildup of system imbalances, particularly a rapid increase of credit. Financial crises tend to occur after prolonged booms but do not necessarily result from large shocks. Recent work shows a novel way to replicate these facts in a standard macroeconomic model, which policymakers could use to gain insights to prevent future crises.
A Macroeconomic Model with Occasional Financial Crises
Financial crises are born out of prolonged credit booms and depressed productivity. At times, they are initiated by relatively small shocks. Consistent with these empirical observations, this paper extends a standard macroeconomic model to include financial intermediation, long-term defaultable loans, and occasional financial crises. Within this framework, crises are typically preceded by prolonged boom periods. During such episodes, intermediaries expand their lending and leverage, thereby building up financial fragility. Crises are generally initiated by a moderate adverse shock that puts ...
Historical Patterns of Inequality and Productivity around Financial Crises
To understand the determinants of financial crises, previous research focused on developments closely related to financial markets. In contrast, this paper considers changes originating in the real economy as drivers of financial instability. Based on long-run historical data for advanced economies, I find that rising top income inequality and low productivity growth are robust predictors of crises ? even outperforming well known early-warning indicators such as credit growth. Moreover, if crises are preceded by such developments, output declines more during the subsequent recession. In ...
Loan Evergreening: Recent Evidence from the U.S.
Banks may have incentives to keep lending to firms to avoid losses on past loans to those firms.
Historical Patterns around Financial Crises
Long-run historical data for advanced economies provide evidence to help policymakers understand specific conditions that typically lead up to financial crises. Recent research finds that rapid growth in the top income share and prolonged low labor productivity growth are robust predictors of crises. Moreover, if crises are preceded by these developments, then the subsequent recoveries are slower. This recent empirical evidence suggests that financial crises are not simply random events but are typically preceded by a prolonged buildup of macrofinancial imbalances.
The Time-Varying Effect of Monetary Policy on Asset Prices
This paper studies how monetary policy jointly affects asset prices and the real economy in the United States. To this end, I develop an estimator that uses high-frequency surprises as a proxy for the structural monetary policy shocks. This is achieved by integrating the surprises into a vector autoregressive model as an exogenous variable. I show analytically that this approach identifies the true relative impulse responses. When allowing for time-varying model parameters, I find that, compared to output, the response of stock and house prices to monetary policy shocks was particularly low ...
Does the Fed Know More about the Economy?
In assessing the current or near-term state of the economy, forecasts from Federal Reserve staff seem to provide little additional information to improve commercial forecasts. However, Fed forecasts for economic growth a year or more in the future substantially enhance the accuracy of private-sector forecasts. The Fed?s policy announcements often reveal some of this forecast information. Accordingly, when the Fed surprises financial markets with indications of higher future interest rates, private forecasters tend to revise up their projections of future output growth.