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Jel Classification:G01 

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

Working Paper
Variance Disparity and Market Frictions

This paper introduces a new model-free approach to measuring the expectation of market variance using VIX derivatives. This approach shows that VIX derivatives carry different information about future variance than S&P 500 (SPX) options, especially during the 2008 financial crisis. I find that the segmentation is associated with frictions such as funding illiquidity, market illiquidity, and asymmetric information. When they are segmented, VIX derivatives contribute more to the variance discovery process than SPX options. These findings imply that VIX derivatives would offer a better estimate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-059

Working Paper
Where the Wild Things Are: Measuring Systemic Risk through Investor Sentiment

In this paper, I develop a systemic risk measure derived from investor sentiment that has predictive power over future economic activity and market returns. Unlike existing measures, it is not focused on flagging investors? heightened awareness of risk at the end of a boom episode but rather on capturing shifts in their trading behavior at the beginning of the episode. The method allows investors and regulators to observe industries in which risks could be building and provides regulators some lead time in deploying their macroprudential tools.
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1608

Working Paper
Endogenous Debt Maturity and Rollover Risk

We challenge the common view that short-term debt, by having to be rolled over continuously, is a risk factor that exposes banks to higher default risk. First, we show that the average effect of expiring obligations on default risk is insignificant; it is only when a bank has limited access to new funds that maturing debt has a detrimental impact on default risk. Next, we show that both limited access to new funds and shorter maturities are causally determined by deteriorating market expectations about the bank's future profitability. In other words, short-term debt is not a cause of ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-074

Working Paper
Institutional Herding and Its Price Impact : Evidence from the Corporate Bond Market

Among growing concerns about potential financial stability risks posed by the asset management industry, herding has been considered as an important risk amplification channel. In this paper, we examine the extent to which institutional investors herd in their trading of U.S. corporate bonds and quantify the price impact of such herding behavior. We find that, relative to what is documented for the equity market, the level of institutional herding is much higher in the corporate bond market, particularly among speculative-grade bonds. In addition, mutual funds have become increasingly likely ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-091

Working Paper
Do Household Finances Constrain Unconventional Fiscal Policy?

When the zero lower bound on nominal interest rate binds, monetary policy makers may lack traditional tools to stimulate aggregate demand. We investigate whether ?unconventional? fiscal policy, in the form of pre-announced consumption tax changes, has the potential to meaningfully shift durables purchases intertemporally and how it is affected by consumer credit. In particular, we test whether car sales react in anticipation of future sales tax changes, leveraging 57 pre-announced changes in state sales tax rates from 1999-2017. We find evidence for substantial tax elasticities, with car ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2018-16

Working Paper
The International Bank Lending Channel of Monetary Policy Rates and QE: Credit Supply, Reach-for-Yield, and Real Effects

We identify the international credit channel of monetary policy by analyzing the universe of corporate loans in Mexico, matched with firm and bank balance-sheet data, and by exploiting foreign monetary policy shocks, given the large presence of European and U.S. banks in Mexico. We find that a softening of foreign monetary policy increases the supply of credit of foreign banks to Mexican firms. Each regional policy shock affects supply via their respective banks (for example, U.K. monetary policy affects credit supply in Mexico via U.K. banks), in turn implying strong real effects, with ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1137

Working Paper
Leveraged bubbles

What risks do asset price bubbles pose for the economy? This paper studies bubbles in housing and equity markets in 17 countries over the past 140 years. History shows that not all bubbles are alike. Some have enormous costs for the economy, while others blow over. We demonstrate that what makes some bubbles more dangerous than others is credit. When fueled by credit booms,asset price bubbles increase financial crisis risks; upon collapse they tend to be followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries. Credit-financed housing price bubbles have emerged as a particularly dangerous ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2015-10

Working Paper
Imperfect Information Transmission from Banks to Investors: Macroeconomic Implications

We study the interaction of information production in loan-backed asset markets and credit allocation in a general equilibrium framework. Originating banks can screen their borrowers, but can inform investors of their asset type only through an error-prone rating technology. The premium paid on highly rated assets emerges as the main determinant of screening effort. Because the rating technology is imperfect, this premium is insufficient to induce the efficient level of screening. However, the fact that banks know their asset quality and produce ratings accordingly helps keep the premium ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-18

Report
The Cost of Financial Frictions for Life Insurers

During the financial crisis, life insurers sold long-term policies at deep discounts relative to actuarial value. The average markup was as low as ?19 percent for annuities and ?57 percent for life insurance. This extraordinary pricing behavior was due to financial and product market frictions, interacting with statutory reserve regulation that allowed life insurers to record far less than a dollar of reserve per dollar of future insurance liability. We identify the shadow cost of capital through exogenous variation in required reserves across different types of policies. The shadow cost was ...
Staff Report , Paper 500

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