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A margin call gone wrong: Credit, stock prices, and Germany's Black Friday 1927
Leverage is often seen as villain in financial crises. Sudden deleveraging may lead to fire sales and price pressure when asset demand is downward-sloping. This paper looks at the effects of changes in leverage on asset prices. It provides a historical case study where a large, well-identified shock to margin credit disrupted the German stock market. In May 1927, the German central bank forced banks to cut margin lending to their clients. However, this shock affected banks differentially; the magnitude of credit change differed across banks. Using the strong connections between banks and ...
Slow capital, fast prices: Shocks to funding liquidity and stock price reversals
A V-shaped price pattern is often observed in financial markets - in response to a negative shock, prices fall "too far" before reversing course. This paper looks at one particular channel of such patterns: the link between a liquidity provider's balance sheet and asset prices. I examine a well-identified historical case study where a large exogenous shock to a liquidity provider's balance sheet resulted in severe capital constraints. Using evidence from German universal banks, who acted as market makers for selected stocks in the interwar period, I show in a difference-in-differences ...