How Do Banks Lend in Inaccurate Flood Zones in the Fed’s Second District?
In our previous post, we identified the degree to which flood maps in the Federal Reserve’s Second District are inaccurate. In this post, we use our data on the accuracy of flood maps to examine how banks lend in “inaccurately mapped” areas, again focusing on the Second District in particular. We find that banks are seemingly aware of poor-quality flood maps and are generally less likely to lend in such regions, thereby demonstrating a degree of flood risk management or risk aversion. This propensity to avoid lending in inaccurately mapped areas can be seen in jumbo as well as non-jumbo ...
Insurance Companies and the Growth of Corporate Loans' Securitization
Insurance companies nonupled their CLO investments in the post-crisis period. This growth has far outpaced that of loans and bonds and is characterized by a strong preference for mezzanine tranches over triple-A tranches. Conditional on capital charges, insurance companies invest more in bonds and CLO tranches with higher yields. Importantly, they prefer CLO tranches because these carry higher yields relative to bonds. Preferences increased following the 2010 capital regulatory reform, resulting in insurance companies holding 40 percent of outstanding mezzanine tranches. Insurance companies ...
Do banks propagate debt market shocks?
Over the years, U.S. banks have increasingly relied on the bond market to finance their business. This created the potential for a link between the bond market and the corporate sector whereby borrowers, including those that do not rely on bond funding, became exposed to the conditions in the bond market. We investigate the importance of this link. Our results show that when the cost to access the bond market goes up, banks that rely on bond financing charge higher interest rates on their loans. Banks that rely exclusively on deposit funding follow bond financing banks and increase the ...
Securities activities in banking conglomerates: should their location be regulated?
A review of the arguments as to whether the location of the securities unit in a banking conglomerate should be subject to regulation. The author contends that correcting the safety nets distortions and allowing banks to choose where to locate their securities units is better than retaining such distortions and relying on corporate separateness to limit the problems they may create.
U.S. Banks’ Exposures to Climate Transition Risks
We build on the estimated sectoral effects of climate transition policies from the general equilibrium models of Jorgenson et al. (2018), Goulder and Hafstead (2018), and NGFS (2022a) to investigate U.S. banks’ exposures to transition risks. Our results show that while banks’ exposures are meaningful, they are manageable. Exposures vary by model and policy scenario with the largest estimates coming from the NGFS (2022a) disorderly transition scenario, where the average bank exposure reaches 9 percent as of 2022. Banks’ exposures increase with the stringency of a carbon tax policy but ...
Unintended Consequences of "Mandatory" Flood Insurance
We document that the quasi-mandatory U.S. flood insurance program reduces mortgage lending along both the extensive and intensive margins. We measure flood insurance mandates using FEMA flood maps, focusing on the discreet updates to these maps that can be made exogenous to true underlying flood risk. Reductions in lending are most pronounced for low-income and low-FICO borrowers, implying that the effects are at least partially driven by the added financial burden of insurance. Our results are also stronger among non-local or more-distant banks, who have a diminished ability to monitor local ...
Insurance Companies and the Growth of Corporate Loan Securitization
Collateralized loan obligation (CLO) issuances in the United States increased by a factor of thirteen between 2009 and 2019, with the volume of outstanding CLOs more than doubling to approach $647 billion by the end of that period. While researchers and policy makers have been investigating the impact of this growth on the cost and riskiness of corporate loans and the potential implications for financial stability, less attention has been paid to the drivers of this phenomenon. In this post, which is based on our recent paper, we shed light on the role that insurance companies have played in ...
Why Do Central Banks Have Discount Windows?
Though not literally a window any longer, the “discount window” refers to the facilities that central banks, acting as lender of last resort, use to provide liquidity to commercial banks. While the need for a discount window and lender of last resort has been debated, the basic rationale for their existence is that circumstances can arise, such as bank runs and panics, when even fundamentally sound banks cannot raise liquidity on short notice. Massive discount window borrowing in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States clearly illustrates the ...
The dark side of liquidity
A look at the disadvantages of a firm's having too much liquidity, explaining that when a company has a great deal of its worth tied up in liquid assets, it has a harder time attracting investors, who must be convinced that the firm's managers will not "take the money and run."