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Author:Vickery, James 

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How and why do small firms manage interest rate risk? Evidence from commercial loans

Although small firms are most sensitive to interest rate and other shocks, empirical work on corporate risk management has focused instead on large public companies. This paper studies fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans to see how small firms manage their exposure to interest rate risk. The cross-sectional findings are as follows: credit-constrained firms consistently favor fixed-rate loans, minimizing their exposure to rising interest rates; firms adjust their exposure depending on how interest rate shocks covary with industry output; and "fixed versus adjustable" outcomes are correlated ...
Staff Reports , Paper 215

Report
The role of technology in mortgage lending

Technology-based (?FinTech?) lenders increased their market share of U.S. mortgage lending from 2 percent to 8 percent from 2010 to 2016. Using market-wide, loan-level data on U.S. mortgage applications and originations, we show that FinTech lenders process mortgage applications about 20 percent faster than other lenders, even when controlling for detailed loan, borrower, and geographic observables. Faster processing does not come at the cost of higher defaults. FinTech lenders adjust supply more elastically than other lenders in response to exogenous mortgage demand shocks, thereby ...
Staff Reports , Paper 836

Discussion Paper
Bank Capital and Risk: Cautionary or Precautionary?

Do riskier banks have more capital? Banking companies with more equity capital are better protected against failure, all else equal, because they can absorb more losses before becoming insolvent. As a result, banks with riskier income and assets would hopefully choose to fund themselves with relatively more equity and less debt, giving them a larger equity cushion against potential losses. In this post, we use a top-down stress test model of the U.S. banking system?the Capital and Loss Assessment under Stress Scenarios (CLASS) model?to assess whether banks that are forecast to lose capital in ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150202

Discussion Paper
Tracking the U.S. Banking Industry

The New York Fed has recently published the first edition of a new quarterly report tracking the aggregate financial condition of consolidated U.S. banking organizations. In this post, we describe the methodology used to construct the statistics in the report as well as present and briefly discuss some of the findings.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20121010

Report
Patterns of rainfall insurance participation in rural India

This paper describes the contract design and institutional features of an innovative rainfall insurance policy offered to smallholder farmers in rural India and presents preliminary evidence on the determinants of insurance participation. Insurance take-up is found to be decreasing in basis risk between insurance payouts and income fluctuations, higher among wealthy households, and lower among households that are credit constrained. These results match predictions of a simple neoclassical model appended with borrowing constraints. Other patterns are less consistent with the benchmark model. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 302

Report
Assessing financial stability: the Capital and Loss Assessment under Stress Scenarios (CLASS) model

The CLASS model is a top-down capital stress testing framework that uses public data, simple econometric models, and auxiliary assumptions to project the effect of macroeconomic scenarios on U.S. banking firms. Through the lens of the model, we find that the total banking system capital shortfall under stressful macroeconomic conditions began to rise four years before the financial crisis, peaking in the fourth quarter of 2008. The capital gap has since fallen sharply, and is now significantly below pre-crisis levels. In the cross section, banking firms estimated to be most sensitive to ...
Staff Reports , Paper 663

Discussion Paper
What’s Driving Up Money Growth?

Two key monetary aggregates, M1 and M2, have grown quickly recently—especially M1, the narrow aggregate. In this post, we show that we can attribute most, but not all, of the recent high money growth rate of M1 to low current interest rates as well as the growth in bank reserves that has resulted from the Fed’s asset purchase programs. It’s unlikely that the current high growth rate will continue in the long term, however, as both low interest rates and the Fed’s expansion of bank reserves will likely be reversed as economic growth accelerates.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20120523

Discussion Paper
What Happens When Regulatory Capital Is Marked to Market?

Minimum equity capital requirements are a key part of bank regulation. But there is little agreement about the right way to measure regulatory capital. One of the key debates is the extent to which capital ratios should be based on current market values rather than historical ?accrual? values of assets and liabilities. In a new research paper, we investigate the effects of a recent regulatory change that ties regulatory capital directly to the market value of the securities portfolio for some banks.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20181011

Report
Credit risk transfer and de facto GSE reform

We summarize and evaluate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?s credit risk transfer (CRT) programs, which have been used since 2013 to shift a portion of credit risk on more than $1.8 trillion of mortgages to private sector investors. We argue that the CRT programs have been successful in reducing the exposure of the federal government to mortgage credit risk without disrupting the liquidity or stability of mortgage secondary markets. In the process, the programs have created a new financial market for pricing and trading mortgage credit risk, which has grown in size and liquidity over time. The CRT ...
Staff Reports , Paper 838

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