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Jel Classification:G21 

Report
Does CFPB Oversight Crimp Credit?

We study how regulatory oversight by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) affects mortgage credit supply and other aspects of bank behavior. We use a difference-in-differences approach exploiting changes in regulatory intensity and a size cutoff below which banks are exempt from CFPB scrutiny. CFPB oversight leads to a reduction in lending in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) market, which primarily serves riskier borrowers. However, it is also associated with a lower transition probability from moderate to serious delinquency, suggesting that tighter regulatory oversight ...
Staff Reports , Paper 857

Working Paper
Liquidity Risk, Bank Networks, and the Value of Joining the Federal Reserve System

Reducing systemic liquidity risk related to seasonal swings in loan demand was one reason for the founding of the Federal Reserve System. Existing evidence on the post-Federal Reserve increase in the seasonal volatility of aggregate lending and the decrease in seasonal interest rate swings suggests that it succeeded in that mission. Nevertheless, less than 8 percent of state-chartered banks joined the Federal Reserve in its first decade. Some have speculated that nonmembers could avoid higher costs of the Federal Reserve?s reserve requirements while still obtaining access indirectly to the ...
Working Paper , Paper 16-6

Working Paper
Does Greater Inequality Lead to More Household Borrowing? New Evidence from Household Data

One suggested hypothesis for the dramatic rise in household borrowing that preceded the financial crisis is that low-income households increased their demand for credit to finance higher consumption expenditures in order to "keep up" with higher-income households. Using household level data on debt accumulation during 2001-2012, we show that low-income households in high-inequality regions accumulated less debt relative to income than their counterparts in lower-inequality regions, which negates the hypothesis. We argue instead that these patterns are consistent with supply-side ...
Working Paper , Paper 14-1

Journal Article
An Empirical Economic Assessment of the Costs and Benefits of Bank Capital in the United States

We evaluate the economic costs and benefits of bank capital in the United States. The analysis is similar to that found in previous studies, though we tailor it to the specific features and experience of the U.S. financial system. We also make adjustments to account for the impact of liquidity- and resolution-related regulations on the probability of a financial crisis. We find that the level of capital that maximizes the difference between total benefits and total costs ranges from just over 13 percent to 26 percent. This range reflects a high degree of uncertainty and latitude in specifying ...
Review , Volume 101 , Issue 3

Working Paper
The Domestic and International Effects of Interstate U.S. Banking

This paper studies the domestic and international effects of national bank market integration in a two-country, dynamic, stochastic, general equilibrium model with endogenous producer entry. Integration of banking across localities reduces the degree of local monopoly power of financial intermediaries. The economy that implements this form of deregulation experiences increased producer entry, real exchange rate appreciation, and a current account deficit. The foreign economy experiences a long-run increase in GDP and consumption. Less monopoly power in financial intermediation results in less ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1111

Report
The payment system benefits of high reserve balances

The policy measures taken since the financial crisis have greatly expanded the size of the Federal Reserve?s balance sheet and have thus raised the level of aggregate bank reserves as well. Over the same period there has been a significant shift in the timing of payments made over the Federal Reserve?s Fedwire Funds Service toward earlier settlement. This paper documents this timing change and presents regression results suggesting that the increase in overall reserve balances explains the vast majority of this development. The paper also discusses the benefits of high aggregate reserve ...
Staff Reports , Paper 779

Report
Banks' incentives and the quality of internal risk models

This paper investigates the incentives for banks to bias their internally generated risk estimates. We are able to estimate bank biases at the credit level by comparing bank-generated risk estimates within loan syndicates. The biases are positively correlated with measures of regulatory capital, even in the presence of bank fixed effects, consistent with an effort by low-capital banks to improve regulatory ratios. At the portfolio level, the difference in borrower probability of default is as large as 100 basis points, which can improve the typical loan portfolio?s Tier 1 capital ratio by as ...
Staff Reports , Paper 704

Report
Import competition and household debt

We analyze the effect of import competition on household balance sheets from 2000 to 2007 using individual data on consumer finances. We exploit variation in exposure to foreign competition using industry-level shipping costs and initial differences in regions? industry specialization. We show that household debt increased significantly in regions where manufacturing industries are more exposed to import competition. A one standard deviation increase in exposure to import competition explains 30 percent of the cross-regional variation in household leverage growth, and is mostly driven by home ...
Staff Reports , Paper 821

Working Paper
From Incurred Loss to Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL): A Forensic Analysis of the Allowance for Loan Losses in Unconditionally Cancelable Credit Card Portfolios

The Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) framework represents a new approach for calculating the allowance for credit losses. Credit cards are the most common form of revolving consumer credit and are likely to present conceptual and modeling challenges during CECL implementation. We look back at nine years of account-level credit card data, starting with 2008, over a time period encompassing the bulk of the Great Recession as well as several years of economic recovery. We analyze the performance of the CECL framework under plausible assumptions about allocations of future payments to existing ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-09

Report
The sensitivity of housing demand to financing conditions: evidence from a survey

The sensitivity of housing demand to mortgage rates and available leverage is key to understanding the effect of monetary and macroprudential policies on the housing market. However, since there is generally no exogenous variation in these variables that is independent of confounding factors (such as economic conditions or household characteristics), it is difficult to cleanly estimate these sensitivities empirically. We circumvent these issues by designing a strategic survey in which respondents are asked for their willingness to pay (WTP) for a home comparable to their current one, under ...
Staff Reports , Paper 702

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