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Author:Sultanum, Bruno 

Working Paper
Preventing bank runs

Diamond and Dybvig (1983) is commonly understood as providing a formal rationale for the existence of bank-run equilibria. It has never been clear, however, whether bank-run equilibria in this framework are a natural byproduct of the economic environment or an artifact of suboptimal contractual arrangements. In the class of direct mechanisms, Peck and Shell (2003) demonstrate that bank-run equilibria can exist under an optimal contractual arrangement. The difficulty of preventing runs within this class of mechanism is that banks cannot identify whether withdrawals are being driven by ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-21

Briefing
Preventing Bank Runs

Banking can be defined as the business of maturity transformation, or "borrowing short to lend long." Economists and policymakers have long viewed banking as inherently unstable, that is, prone to runs. This Economic Brief reviews the intuition and theory behind bank runs and the most popular proposed solutions. It also explores new research suggesting that runs might be prevented by creating a new, low-cost type of deposit contract that eliminates the incentive to run.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue March

Journal Article
CDS Auctions: An Overview

We discuss the historical background of the credit default swap (CDS) market, why CDS auctions were developed, and the most recent literature. We describe the auction rules using the Toys R Us auction as an example. Furthermore, we discuss the theoretical and empirical results presented in Chernov et al. (2013). Empirically, we extend their data to include more recent CDS auctions. Our results support their findings that dealers have incentive to manipulate the auction price downward when the net open interest is positive. Finally, we use novel dealer-level CDS positions to support Chernov et ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue 2Q , Pages 105-132

Journal Article
Inefficiency in a Simple Model of Production and Bilateral Trade

We study a simple model of over-the-counter trade with production. We characterize the equilibrium, and we show that the equilibrium is always inefficient, independent of how the trade surplus is split among trade participants. We argue that this is due to a double hold-up problem that it is at the core of models used to study trade in over-the-counter markets. Finally, we show an example, which we interpret as a limiting case of the general model where the inefficiency vanishes.
Economic Quarterly , Issue 3Q , Pages 137-151

Journal Article
Nonparametric Estimation of the Diamond-Dybvig Banking Model

I propose a nonparametric structural estimator for the distribution of liquidity needs in a version of the Diamond and Dybvig (1983) model when only the aggregate level of withdrawals is observed. The model is an extension of Peck and Shell (2003) with a continuum of depositors. I show how the characterization of the optimal contract proposed in Sultanum (2014) can be used to estimate the distribution of aggregate liquidity needs. The method builds on the literature of estimation of auctions. More precisely, it uses the indirect approach proposed by Guerre et al. (2000). Guerre et al. (2000) ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue Q4 , Pages 261-279

Working Paper
Private Information in Over-the-Counter Markets

We study trading in over-the-counter (OTC) markets where agents have heterogeneous and private valuations for assets. We develop a quantitative model in which assets are issued through a primary market and then traded in a secondary OTC market. Then we use data on the US municipal bond market to calibrate the model. We find that the effects of private information are large, reducing asset supply by 20%, trade volume by 80%, and aggregate welfare by 8%. Using the model, we identify two channels through which the information friction harms the economy. First, the distribution of the existing ...
Working Paper , Paper 16-16

Working Paper
Financial Fragility and Over-the-Counter Markets

This paper studies the interaction between financial fragility and over-the-counter markets. In the model, the financial sector is composed of a large number of investors divided into different groups, which are interpreted as financial institutions, and a large number of dealers. Financial institutions and dealers trade assets in an over-the-counter market la Duffie et al. (2005) and Lagos and Rocheteau (2009). Investors are subject to privately observed preference shocks, and financial institutions use the balanced team mechanism, proposed by Athey and Segal (2013), to implement an ...
Working Paper , Paper 16-4

Working Paper
An Information-Based Theory of Financial Intermediation

We advance a theory of how private information and heterogeneous screening ability across market participants shapes trade in decentralized asset markets. We solve for the equilibrium market structure and show that the investors who intermediate trade the most and interact with the largest set of counterparties must have the highest screening ability. That is, the primary intermediaries are those with superior information?screening experts. We provide empirical support for the model?s predictions using transaction-level micro data and information disclosure requirements. Finally, we study the ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-12

Working Paper
Playing with Money

Experimental studies in monetary economics usually study infinite horizon models. Yet, the time constraints of the laboratory sessions in which these models are conducted create finite horizons that imply monetary equilibria cannot exist. Moreover, laboratory subjects do not treat the probabilistic termination rule typically used in a manner consistent with the discount factor that the rule is intended to replace. Thus, it is unclear whether these experiments evaluate subjects' use of money to ameliorate trading frictions as an equilibrium phenomenon, their inability to understand backward ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-2

Working Paper
Asset Issuance in Over-the-Counter Markets

We model asset issuance in over-the-counter markets. Investors buy newly issued assets in a primary market and trade existing assets in a secondary market, where both markets are over the counter. We show that the level of asset issuance and its efficiency depend on how investors split the surplus in secondary market trade. If buyers get most of the surplus in secondary market trade, then sellers do not have incentives to participate in the primary market in order to intermediate assets and the economy has a low level of assets. On the other hand, if sellers get most of the surplus, buyers ...
Working Paper , Paper 17-13

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