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Keywords:Financial crisis 

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

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

Working Paper
FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Great Recession

Did government mortgage programs mitigate the adverse economic effects of the financial crisis? We find that counties with greater participation in traditional government mortgage programs experienced less severe economic downturns during the Great Recession. In particular, counties with higher levels of participation in FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac lending had relatively smaller increases in mortgage delinquency rates; smaller declines in purchase originations, home sales, home prices, and new automobile purchases; and smaller increases in unemployment rates. These results hold both in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-031

Working Paper
Demand Shock, Liquidity Management, and Firm Growth during the Financial Crisis

We examine the transmission of liquidity across the supply chain during the 2007-09 financial crisis, a period of financial market illiquidity, for a sample of unrated public firms with differential demand shocks. We measure differential demand by comparing firms that primarily supply to government customers with those that primarily supply to corporate customers. A difference-in-difference analysis shows little evidence that relatively high demand firms provide more or less liquidity to their own suppliers. The main determinant of the usage of short-term financing is a product market shock. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-96

Working Paper
The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters

The collapse of international trade surrounding the Great Recession has garnered significant attention. This paper studies firm entry and exit in foreign markets and their role in the post-recession recovery of U.S. exports using confidential microdata from the U.S. Census Bureau. We find that incumbent exporters account for the vast majority of the decline in export volumes during the crisis. The recession also induced a missing generation of exporters, with large increases in exits and a substantial decline in entries into foreign markets. New exporters during these years tended to have ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-108

Working Paper
Can Forecast Errors Predict Financial Crises? Exploring the Properties of a New Multivariate Credit Gap

Yes, they can. I propose a new method to detect credit booms and busts from multivariate systems -- monetary Bayesian vector autoregressions. When observed credit is systematically higher than credit forecasts justified by real economic activity variables, a positive credit gap emerges. The methodology is tested for 31 advanced and emerging market economies. The resulting credit gaps fit historical evidence well and detect turning points earlier, outperforming the credit-to-GDP gaps in signaling financial crises, especially at longer horizons. The results survive in real time and can shed ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-045

Working Paper
Insider bank runs: community bank fragility and the financial crisis of 2007

From 2007 to 2010, more than 200 community banks in the United States failed. Many of these failed community banking organizations (CBOs) held less than $1 billion in total assets. As economic conditions worsen, banking organizations are expected to preserve capital to withstand unexpected losses. This study examines CBOs prior to failure or becoming problem institutions to understand if, on average, a run on capital by insiders via dividend payouts led to greater financial fragility at the onset of the crisis. We use a control group of similar-sized banks that did not fail or become problem ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-9

Working Paper
Backtesting Systemic Risk Measures During Historical Bank Runs

The measurement of systemic risk is at the forefront of economists and policymakers concerns in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. What exactly are we measuring and do any of the proposed measures perform well outside the context of the recent financial crisis? One way to address these questions is to take backtesting seriously and evaluate how useful the recently proposed measures are when applied to historical crises. Ideally, one would like to look at the pre-FDIC era for a broad enough sample of financial panics to confidently assess the robustness of systemic risk measures but ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2015-9

Working Paper
Managing Stigma during a Financial Crisis

How should regulators design effective emergency lending facilities to mitigate stigma during a financial crisis? I explore this question using data from an unexpected disclosure of partial lists of banks that secretly borrowed from the lender of last resort during the Great Depression. I find evidence of stigma in that depositors withdrew more deposits from banks included on the lists in comparison with banks left off the lists. However, stigma dissipated for banks that were revealed earlier after subsequent banks were revealed. Overall, the results suggest that an emergency lending facility ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-007

Working Paper
What Macroeconomic Conditions Lead Financial Crises?

Research has suggested that a rapid pace of nonfinancial borrowing reliably precedes financial crises, placing the pace of debt growth at the center of frameworks for the deployment of macroprudential policies. I reconsider the role of asset-prices and current account deficits as leading indicators of financial crises. Run-ups in equity and house prices and a widening of the current account deficit have substantially larger (and more statistically-significant) effects than debt growth on the probability of a financial crisis in standard crisis-prediction models. The analysis highlights the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-038

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