A Look at Bank Loan Performance
U.S. banks experienced a rapid rise in loan delinquencies and defaults during the 2007-09 recession, driven by rising unemployment and falling real estate prices, among other factors. More than four years on from the official end of the recession, how do things look now?
Defragmenting Markets: Evidence from Agency MBS
Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have historically traded in separate forward markets. We study the consequences of this fragmentation, showing that market liquidity endogenously concentrated in Fannie Mae MBS, leading to higher issuance and trading volume, lower transaction costs, higher security prices, and a higher rate of return on securitization for Fannie Mae. We then analyze a change in market design – the Single Security Initiative – which consolidated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac MBS trading into a single market in June 2019. We find that ...
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 ...
The CLASS Model: A Top-Down Assessment of the U.S. Banking System
Central banks and bank supervisors have increasingly relied on capital stress testing as a supervisory and macroprudential tool. Stress tests have been used by central banks and supervisors to assess the resilience of individual banking companies to adverse macroeconomic and financial market conditions as a way of gauging additional capital needs at individual firms and as a means of assessing the overall capital strength of the banking system. In this post, we describe a framework for assessing the impact of various macroeconomic scenarios on the capital and performance of the U.S. banking ...
Do big banks have lower operating costs?
This study examines the relationship between bank holding company (BHC) size and components of noninterest expense (NIE) in order to shed light on the sources of scale economies in banking. Drawing on detailed expense information provided by U.S. banking firms in the memoranda of their regulatory filings, the authors find a robust negative relationship between size and normalized measures of NIE. The relationship is strongest for employee compensation expenses and components of ?other? noninterest expense such as information technology and corporate overhead expenses. In addition, the authors ...
Rethinking Mortgage Design
Because mortgages make up the majority of household debt in most developed countries, mortgage design has important implications for macroeconomic policy and household welfare. As one example, most U.S. mortgages have fixed interest rates?if interest rates fall, existing borrowers need to refinance to lower their interest payments. In practice, households are often slow to refinance, or may not be able to do so. As a result, the transmission of U.S. monetary policy is dampened relative to countries like the United Kingdom where mortgage rates on most loans adjust automatically with short-term ...
Analyzing the Effects of CFPB Oversight
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created in 2011, is a key element of post-crisis U.S. financial regulation, as well as the subject of intense debate. While some have praised the agency, citing the benefits of consumer financial protection, others argue that its activities involve high compliance costs, increase uncertainty and legal risk, and ultimately reduce the availability of financial services for consumers. We present new evidence on whether the CFPB’s supervisory and enforcement activities have significantly affected the supply of mortgage credit, or had other ...
Peas in a pod? Comparing the U.S. and Danish mortgage finance systems
Like the United States, Denmark relies heavily on capital markets for funding residential mortgages, and the Danish covered bond market bears a number of similarities to U.S. agency securitization. In this paper we describe the key features of the Danish mortgage finance system and compare and contrast it to the U.S. system. We also note characteristics of the Danish model that may be of interest as the United States considers further mortgage finance reform. In particular, the Danish system includes features that mitigate refinancing frictions during periods of falling home prices, and ...
Barriers to household risk management: evidence from India
Financial engineering offers the potential to significantly reduce the consumption fluctuations faced by individuals, households, and firms. Yet much of this potential remains unfulfilled. This paper studies the adoption of an innovative rainfall insurance product designed to compensate low-income Indian farmers in the event of insufficient rainfall during the primary monsoon season. We first document relatively low adoption of this new risk management product: Only 5-10 percent of households purchase the insurance, even though they overwhelmingly cite rainfall variability as their most ...
The Dodd-Frank Act’s Potential Effects on the Credit Rating Industry
Credit rating agencies have been widely criticized in recent years for the poor performance of their ratings on mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and other structured-finance bonds. In response to the concerns of investors and other market participants, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act incorporates a range of reforms likely to significantly reshape the rating industry. In this post, we discuss these reforms and their implications for investors, regulators, and the rating agencies themselves.