Corporate Governance and Risk Management at Unprotected Banks: National Banks in the 1890s
Managers' incentives may conflict with those of shareholders or creditors, particularly at leveraged, opaque banks. Bankers may abuse their control rights to give themselves excessive salaries, favored access to credit, or to take excessive risks that benefit themselves at the expense of depositors. Banks must design contracting and governance structures that sufficiently resolve agency problems so that they can attract funding from outside shareholders and depositors. We examine banks from the 1890s, a period when there were no distortions from deposit insurance or government interventions ...
Misconduct risk, culture and supervision: remarks at the Culture Roundtable Session with Business Schools and Financial Services Industry, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City
Remarks at the Culture Roundtable Session with Business Schools and Financial Services Industry, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City.
Screening and adverse selection in frictional markets
We incorporate a search-theoretic model of imperfect competition into an otherwise standard model of asymmetric information with unrestricted contracts. We develop a methodology that allows for a sharp analytical characterization of the unique equilibrium and then use this characterization to explore the interaction between adverse selection, screening, and imperfect competition. On the positive side, we show how the structure of equilibrium contracts?and, hence, the relationship between an agent?s type, the quantity he trades, and the corresponding price?is jointly determined by the severity ...
Securities Financing and Asset Markets: New Evidence
This paper presents new evidence on bilateral securities financing based on the Federal Reserve's Senior Credit Officer Opinion Survey, which was launched in the wake of the financial crisis to provide a window into this otherwise opaque market. The survey asks large broker-dealers about terms at which they fund client positions, and the demand for such funding, across several different collateral types. Within asset classes, reported changes in spreads, haircuts, and other financing terms move closely together, and we show that they also covary with the state of the underlying cash ...
A Dynamic Theory of Collateral Quality and Long-Term Interventions
We study a dynamic model of collateralized lending under adverse selection in which the quality of collateral assets is endogenously determined by hidden effort. Complementarities in incentives lead to non-ergodic dynamics: Asset quality and output grow when asset quality is high, but stagnate or deteriorate otherwise. Inefficiencies remain, even in the most efficient competitive equilibrium?investment and output are vulnerable to spells of lending market illiquidity, and these spells may persist because of suboptimal effort. Nevertheless, benevolent regulators without commitment can destroy ...
Extended Loan Terms and Auto Loan Default Risk
A salient feature of the $1.2 trillion auto-loan market is the extension of loan maturity terms in recentyears. Using a large, national sample of auto loans from the entire auto market, we find that the default rates on six- and seven-year loans are multiple times that of shorter five-year term loans. Most of the default risk difference is due to borrower risks associated with longer-term loans, as those longer-term auto borrowers are more credit and liquidity constrained. We also find borrowers’ loan-term choice to be endogenous and that the endogeneity bias is substantial in conventional ...
Screening on Loan Terms: Evidence from Maturity Choice in Consumer Credit
We exploit a natural experiment in the largest online consumer lending platform to provide the first evidence that loan terms, in particular maturity choice, can be used to screen borrowers based on their private information. We compare two groups of observationally equivalent borrowers who took identical unsecured 36-month loans; for only one of the groups, a 60-month loan was also available. When a long-maturity option is available, fewer borrowers take the short-term loan, and those who do default less. Additional findings suggest borrowers self-select on private information about their ...
Finance and Inequality : The Distributional Impacts of Bank Credit Rationing
We analyze reductions in bank credit using a natural experiment where unprecedented flooding differentially affected banks that were more exposed to flooded regions in Pakistan. Using a unique dataset that covers the universe of consumer loans in Pakistan and this exogenous shock to bank funding, we find two key results. First, banks disproportionately reduce credit to new and less-educated borrowers, following an increase in their funding costs. Second, the credit reduction is not compensated by relatively more lending by less-affected banks. The empirical evidence suggests that adverse ...
Adverse Selection, Lemons Shocks and Business Cycles
Asymmetric information is crucial for understanding the disruption of the supply of credit. This paper studies a dynamic economy featuring asymmetric information and resulting adverse selection in credit markets. Entrepreneurs seek loans from banks for projects, but asymmetric information about entrepreneurs' riskiness causes a lemons problem: relatively safe entrepreneurs do not get funded. An increase in the riskiness of some entrepreneurs raises interest rate spreads, aggravates adverse selection, and shrinks the supply of bank credit. The model calibrated to the U.S. economy generates ...
Adverse Selection Dynamics in Privately-Produced Safe Debt Markets
Privately-produced safe debt is designed so that there is no adverse selection in trade. This is because no agent finds it profitable to produce private information about the debt’s backing and all agents know this (i.e., it is information-insensitive). But in some macro states, it becomes profitable for some agents to produce private information, and then the debt faces adverse selection when traded (i.e., it becomes information-sensitive). We empirically study these adverse selection dynamics in a very important asset class, collateralized loan obligations, a large symbiotic appendage of ...