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Jel Classification:G23 

Report
Credit supply disruptions: from credit crunches to financial crisis

Events that transpired during the recent financial crisis highlight the important role that financial intermediaries still play in the economy, especially during economic downturns. While the breadth and severity of the financial crisis took most observers by surprise, it has renewed academic interest in understanding the effects on the real economy of both financial shocks and the changing nature of financial intermediation. This interest in the real effects of financial shocks highlights a literature that began more than 20 years ago associated with the bank credit crunch of the early ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-5

Report
Technology, the nature of information, and fintech marketplace lending

The retail lending landscape has changed considerably over the past two decades, the most recent example being the rapid growth of online, or FinTech, lending to consumers and small businesses. This paper discusses how the boundary of the firm in the retail lending market is affected by advances in information technology that have turned what was previously soft information on borrower credit risk into encoded hard data that can be precisely transmitted across firms at a very low cost. The ability to collect and process information has become the critical resource for lending decisions, ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 18-3

Report
How are U.S. consumers using general purpose reloadable prepaid cards?: are they being used as substitutes for checking accounts?

Owners of general purpose reloadable prepaid cards (GPR) who do not have checking accounts comprise 4.8 percent of U.S. adults, according to the 2012 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice. This report explores two important aspects of prepaid card use: Do owners of GPR prepaid cards who lack checking accounts use these cards differently than those who have checking accounts? Are these cards substituting for payment services that have traditionally been provided only via traditional checking accounts?
Research Data Report , Paper 15-3

Working Paper
The Intersection of U.S. Money Market Mutual Fund Reforms, Bank Liquidity Requirements, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System

The most recent changes to money market fund regulations have had a strong impact on the money fund industry. In the months leading up to the compliance date of the core provisions of the amended regulations, assets in prime money market funds declined significantly, while those in government funds increased contemporaneously. This reallocation from prime to government funds has contributed to the latter's increased demand for debt issued by the U.S. government and government-sponsored enterprises. The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) System played a key role in meeting this heightened demand ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 17-5

Working Paper
Reach for Yield by U.S. Public Pension Funds

This paper studies whether U.S. public pension funds reach for yield by taking more investment risk in a low interest rate environment. To study funds? risk-taking behavior, we first present a simple theoretical model relating risk-taking to the level of risk-free rates, to their underfunding, and to the fiscal condition of their state sponsors. The theory identifies two distinct channels through which interest rates and other factors may affect risk-taking: by altering plans? funding ratios, and by changing risk premia. The theory also shows the effect of state finances on funds? risk-taking ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 19-2

Working Paper
Variable Annuities: Underlying Risks and Sensitivities

This paper presents a quantitative model designed to understand the sensitivity of variable annuity (VA) contracts to market and actuarial assumptions and how these sensitivities make them a potentially important source of risk to insurance companies during times of stress. VA contracts often include long dated guarantees of market performance that expose the insurer to multiple nondiversifiable risks. Our modeling framework employs a Monte Carlo simulation of asset returns and policyholder behavior to derive fair prices for variable annuities in a risk neutral framework and to estimate ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 19-1

Working Paper
The Shift from Active to Passive Investing: Potential Risks to Financial Stability?

The past couple of decades have seen a significant shift in assets from active to passive investment strategies. We examine the potential effects of this shift on financial stability through four different channels: (1) effects on investment funds? liquidity transformation and redemption risks; (2) passive strategies that amplify market volatility; (3) increases in asset-management industry concentration; and (4) the effects on valuations, volatility, and comovement of assets that are included in indexes. Overall, the shift from active to passive investment strategies appears to be increasing ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 18-4

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

Report
Macroprudential policy and the revolving door of risk: lessons from leveraged lending guidance

We investigate the U.S. experience with macroprudential policies by studying the interagency guidance on leveraged lending. We find that the guidance primarily impacted large, closely supervised banks, but only after supervisors issued important clarifications. It also triggered a migration of leveraged lending to nonbanks. While we do not find that nonbanks had more lax lending policies than banks, we unveil important evidence that nonbanks increased bank borrowing following the issuance of guidance, possibly to finance their growing leveraged lending. The guidance was effective at reducing ...
Staff Reports , Paper 815

Report
Competition, reach for yield, and money market funds

Do asset managers reach for yield because of competitive pressures in a low-rate environment? I propose a tournament model of money market funds (MMFs) to study this issue. When funds care about relative performance, an increase in the risk premium leads funds with lower default costs to increase risk-taking, while funds with higher default costs decrease risk-taking. Without changes in the premium, lower risk-free rates reduce the risk-taking of all funds. I show that these predictions are consistent with MMF risk-taking during the 2002-08 period and that rank-based performance is indeed a ...
Staff Reports , Paper 753

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