Pricing government credit: a new method for determining government credit risk exposure
A growing debate centers on how best to recognize (and price) government interventions in the capital markets. This study applies a method for estimating and valuing the government?s exposure to credit risk through its loan and guarantee programs. The authors use the mortgage portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as examples of how policymakers could employ this method in pricing the government?s program credit risk. Building on the cost of capital approach, the method captures each program?s possible tail loss over and above its expected value. The authors then use a capital allocation ...
Estimating the Tax and Credit-Event Risk Components of Credit Spreads
This paper argues that tax liabilities explain a large fraction of observed short-maturity investment-grade (IG) spreads, but credit-event premia do not. First, we extend Duffie and Lando (2001) by permitting management to issue both debt and equity. Rather than defaulting, managers of IG firms who receive bad private signals conceal this information and service existing debt via new debt issuance. Consistent with empirical observation, this strategy implies that IG firms have virtually zero credit-event risk (at least until they become ?fallen angels"). Second, we provide empirical evidence ...
The Effect of the PPPLF on PPP Lending by Commercial Banks
We analyze whether the Federal Reserve's Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) was successful in bolstering the ability of commercial banks to provide credit to small businesses under the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Using an instrumental variables approach, we find a causal effect of the facility boosting PPP lending. On average, commercial banks that used the PPPLF extended over twice as many PPP loans, relative to their total assets, as banks that did not use the PPPLF. Our instrument is a measure of banks' familiarity with the ...
The Mortgage Rate Conundrum
We document the emergence of a disconnect between mortgage and Treasury interest rates in the summer of 2003. Following the end of the Federal Reserve expansionary cycle in June 2003, mortgage rates failed to rise according to their historical relationship with Treasury yields, leading to significantly and persistently easier mortgage credit conditions. We uncover this phenomenon by analyzing a large dataset with millions of loan-level observations, which allows us to control for the impact of varying loan, borrower and geographic characteristics. These detailed data also reveal that ...
GSE guarantees, financial stability, and home equity accumulation
Before 2008, the government?s ?implicit guarantee? of the securities issued by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to practices by these institutions that threatened financial stability. In 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency placed these GSEs into conservatorship. Conservatorship was intended to be temporary but has now reached its tenth year, and policymakers continue to weigh options for reform. In this article, the authors assess both implicit and explicit government guarantees for the GSEs. They argue that adopting a legislatively defined ...
Credit risk transfer, informed markets, and securitization
Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) funded the U.S. housing bubble, while the ensuing bust resulted in systemic risk and the global financial crisis of 2007-09. In the run-up to the crisis, MBS pricing failed to reveal the growing credit risk. This article draws lessons from this failure that could inform the use of credit risk transfers (CRTs) to price credit risk. The author concludes that the CRT market, as currently constituted, could have appropriately priced and revealed credit risk during the bubble years because it met three key requirements: 1) transparency, through the full provision ...
Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy
Rising costs of and returns to college have led to sizeable increases in the demand for student loans in many countries. In the U.S., student loan default rates have also risen for recent cohorts as labor market uncertainty and debt levels have increased. We discuss these trends as well as recent evidence on the extent to which students are able to obtain enough credit for college and the extent to which they are able to repay their student debts after. We then discuss optimal student credit arrangements that balance three important objectives: (i) providing credit for students to access ...
Student Loan Relief Programs: Implications for Borrowers and the Federal Government
As college costs increase and more students borrow to fund their education, debt load and delinquency rates have become significant problems. Student loan obligations are challenging to manage for new graduates with lower earnings and for borrowers in financial hardship. This paper discusses the various federal student loan repayment relief programs that are available and their borrower and fiscal impacts. The implications for borrowers' costs and the federal budget vary significantly by loan amount, income level, and relief program.
Tuition, Debt, and Human Capital
This paper investigates the eﬀects of college tuition on student debt and human capital accumulation. We exploit data from a random sample of undergraduate students in the United States and implement a research design that instruments for tuition with relatively large changes to the tuition of students who enrolled at the same school in diﬀerent cohorts. We ﬁnd that $10,000 in higher tuition causally reduces the probability of graduating with a graduate degree by 6.2 percentage points and increases student debt by $2,961. Higher tuition also reduces the probability of obtaining an ...
Ten Days Late and Billions of Dollars Short: The Employment Effects of Delays in Paycheck Protection Program Financing
Delay in the provision of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans due to insufficient initial funding under the CARES Act substantially and persistently reduced employment. Delayed loans increased job losses in May and persistently reduced recalls throughout the summer. The magnitude and heterogeneity of effects suggest significant barriers to obtaining external financing, particularly among small firms. Effects are inequitably distributed: larger among the self-employed, less well paid, less well educated and--importantly for the design of future programs--in very small firms. Our estimates ...