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Series:Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 

Working Paper
The stability of prime money market mutual funds: sponsor support from 2007 to 2011

It is commonly noted that in the history of the Money Market Mutual Fund (MMMF) industry only two MMMFs have ?broken the buck,? or had the net asset value per share (NAV) at which they transact fall below $1. While this statement is true, it is useful to consider the role that non-contractual support has played in the maintenance of this strong track record. Such support, which has served to obscure the credit risk taken by these funds, has been a common occurrence over the history of MMMFs. This paper presents a detailed view of the non-contractual support provided to MMMFs by their sponsors ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 12-3

Working Paper
Fair value accounting: villain or innocent victim?: exploring the links between fair value accounting, bank regulatory capital, and the recent financial crisis

There is a popular belief that the confluence of bank capital rules and fair value accounting helped trigger the recent financial crisis. The claim is that questionable valuations of long term investments based on prices obtained from illiquid markets created a pro-cyclical effect whereby mark to market adjustments reduced regulatory capital forcing banks to sell off investments which further depressed prices. This ultimately led to bank instability and the credit effects that reached a peak late in 2008. This paper analyzes a sample of large banks to attempt to measure the strength of the ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper QAU10-1

Working Paper
Bank diversification, market structure and bank risk taking: theory and evidence from U.S. commercial banks

This paper studies how a bank?s diversification affects its own risk taking behavior and the risk taking of competing, nondiversified banks. By combining theories of bank organization, market structure and risk taking, I show that greater geographic diversification of banks changes a bank?s lending behavior and market interest rates, which also has ramifications for nondiversified competitors due to interactions in the banking market. Empirical results obtained from the U.S. commercial banking sector support this relationship as they indicate that a bank?s risk taking is lower when its ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper QAU12-2

Working Paper
The option value of consumer bankruptcy

This paper aims to contribute to the growing literature on the causes of consumer bankruptcy. It presents the consumer bankruptcy decision as an irreversible choice that has an embedded real option value. This allows the use of well known framework for the study of decision making under uncertainty. The principal empirical finding is that cross-sectional variances of economic factors, such as unemployment, are strong predictors of bankruptcy rates and are consistent with the implications of the real options model. This supports anecdotal evidence that individuals are facing increased economic ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper QAU09-1

Working Paper
Market proxies, correlation, and relative mean-variance efficiency: still living with the roll critique

A pricing restriction is developed to test the validity of the CAPM conditional on a prior belief about the correlation between the true market return and the proxy return used in the test. Distinguishing this pricing restriction from competing tests also based upon the relative efficiency of the proxy return is a consideration for the proxy's mismeasurement of the market return. Failure to account for this mismeasurement biases tests of the CAPM towards rejection by overstating the inefficiency of the proxy. A time-varying version of this pricing restriction links mismeasurement of the ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper QAU09-3

Working Paper
Liquidity Shocks, Dollar Funding Costs, and the Bank Lending Channel during the European Sovereign Crisis

This paper documents a new type of cross-border bank lending channel using a novel dataset on the balance sheets of U.S. branches of foreign banks and their syndicated loans. We show that: (1) The U.S. branches of euro-area banks suffered a liquidity shock in the form of reduced access to large time deposits during the European sovereign debt crisis in 2011. The shock was related to their euro-area affiliation rather than to country- or bank-specific characteristics. (2) The affected branches received additional funding from their parent banks, but not enough to offset the lost deposits. (3) ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 16-4

Working Paper
Optimal portfolio choice with predictability in house prices and transaction costs

We study a model of portfolio choice, in which housing prices are predictable and adjustment costs must be paid when there is a housing transaction. We show that two state variables affect the agent's decisions: (i) his wealth-house ratio; and (ii) the time-varying expected growth rate of housing prices. The agent buys (sells) his housing assets only when the wealth-house ratio reaches an optimal upper (lower) boundary. These boundaries are time-varying and depend on the expected growth rate of housing prices. Finally, we use household level data from the PSID and SIPP surveys to test and ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper QAU10-2

Working Paper
How effective were the Federal Reserve emergency liquidity facilities?: evidence from the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility

Following the failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, short-term credit markets were severely disrupted. In response, the Federal Reserve implemented new and unconventional facilities to help restore liquidity. Many existing analyses of these interventions are confounded by identification problems because they rely on aggregate data. Two unique micro datasets allow us to exploit both time series and cross-sectional variation to evaluate one of the most unusual of these facilities - the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (AMLF). The AMLF extended ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper QAU10-3

Working Paper
Evaluating the impact of fair value accounting on financial institutions: implications for accounting standards setting and bank supervision

Recent standard-setting activity related to fair value accounting has injected new life into questions of whether fair value provides information useful for decision-making, and whether there might be unintended consequences on financial stability. This discussion paper provides insight into these questions by performing a holistic evaluation of fair value accounting?s usefulness, the potential impacts it may have on financial institutions and any broader macroeconomic effects. Materials reviewed as part of this analysis include public bank regulatory filings, financial statements, and fair ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper QAU12-1

Working Paper
Forgive and forget: who gets credit after bankruptcy and why?

Conventional wisdom about individuals who have gone bankrupt is that they find it very difficult to get credit for at least some time after their bankruptcy. However, there is very little non-survey based empirical evidence on the availability of credit post-bankruptcy. This paper makes two contributions using data from one of the largest credit bureaus in the US. First, we show that individuals who file for bankruptcy can indeed get credit very quickly after they file. Indeed, 90% of individuals have access to some sort of credit within the 18 months after filing for bankruptcy, and 66% have ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper QAU09-2

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