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Keywords:financial crises 

Journal Article
Matching collateral supply and financing demands in dealer banks

The failure and near-collapse of some of the largest dealer banks on Wall Street in 2008 highlighted the marked vulnerability of the industry. Dealer banks are financial intermediaries that make markets for many securities and derivatives. Like standard banks, dealer banks may derive the funding for a loan from their own equity or from external sources, such as depositors or creditors. Unlike standard banks, however, dealer banks rely heavily upon collateralized borrowing and lending, which give rise to ?internal? sources of financing. This article provides a descriptive and analytical ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Dec , Pages 127-151

Heterogeneity and stability: bolster the strong, not the weak

This paper provides a model of systemic panic among financial institutions with heterogeneous fragilities. Concerns about potential spillovers from each other generate strategic interaction among institutions, triggering a preemption game in which one tries to exit the market before the others to avoid spillovers. Although financial contagion originates in weaker institutions, systemic risk depends critically on the financial health of stronger institutions in the contagion chain. This analysis suggests that when concerns about spillovers prevail, then 1) increasing heterogeneity of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 637

Optimal Policy for Macro-Financial Stability

There is a new and now large literature analyzing government policies for financial stability based on models with endogenous borrowing constraints. These normative analyses build upon the concept of constrained efficient allocation, where the social planner is constrained by the same borrowing limit that agents face. In this paper, we show that the same set of policy tools that implement the constrained efficient allocation can be used by a Ramsey planner to replicate the unconstrained allocation, thus achieving higher welfare. The constrained social planner approach may lead to inaccurate ...
Staff Reports , Paper 899

Uncertain booms and fragility

I develop a framework of the buildup and outbreak of financial crises in an asymmetric information setting. In equilibrium, two distinct economic states arise endogenously: ?normal times,? periods of modest investment, and ?booms,? periods of expansionary investment. Normal times occur when the intermediary sector realizes moderate investment opportunities. Booms occur when the intermediary sector realizes many investment opportunities, but also occur when it realizes very few opportunities. As a result, investors face greater uncertainty in booms. During a boom, subsequent arrival of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 861

Does going easy on distressed banks help the macroeconomy?

During banking crises, regulators often relax their requirements and refrain from closing troubled banks. I estimate the real effects of such regulatory forbearance during the U.S. savings and loan crisis by comparing states' economic outcomes by the amount of forbearance they receive. As instruments, I use historical variation in deposit insurance of similar financial intermediaries (thrifts) and exploit geographic variation in principal supervisory agent (PSA). The evidence suggests a policy-induced real estate boom during forbearance (1982-89), followed by a bigger bust in real estate and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 823

Working Paper
A Quantitative Analysis of Countercyclical Capital Buffers

What are the quantitative macroeconomic effects of the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB)? I study this question in a nonlinear DSGE model with occasional financial crises, which is calibrated and combined with US data to estimate sequences of structural shocks. Raising capital buffers during leverage expansions can reduce the frequency of crises by more than half. A quantitative application to the 2007-08 financial crisis shows that the CCyB in the 2.5% range (as in the Federal Reserve's current framework) could have greatly mitigated the financial panic of 2008, for a cumulative gain of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-008

Working Paper
A Quantitative Analysis of Countercyclical Capital Buffers

What are the quantitative effects of countercyclical capital buffers (CCyB)? I study this question in the context of a nonlinear DSGE model with a financial sector that is subject to occasional panics. A calibrated version of the model is combined with US data to estimate sequences of structural shocks, allowing me to study policy counterfactuals. First, I show that raising capital buffers during leverage expansions can reduce the frequency of crises by more than half. Second, I show that lowering capital buffers during a panic can moderate the intensity of the resulting crisis. A ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-8

Working Paper
Interest Rates or Haircuts? Prices Versus Quantities in the Market for Collateralized Risky Loans

Markets for risky loans clear on two dimensions - an interest rate (or equivalently a spread above the riskless rate) and a specification of the amount of collateral per dollar of lending. The latter is summarized by the margin or "haircut" associated with the loan. Some key models of endogenous collateral constraints imply that the primary equilibrating force will be in the form of haircuts rather than movements in interest rate spreads. Indeed, an important benchmark model, derived in a two-state world, implies that haircuts will adjust to render all lending riskless, and that a loss of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2016-19

Working Paper
Sovereigns versus Banks: Credit, Crises, and Consequences

Two separate narratives have emerged in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. One speaks of private financial excess and the key role of the banking system in leveraging and deleveraging the economy. The other emphasizes the public sector balance sheet over the private and worries about the risks of lax fiscal policies. However, the two may interact in important and understudied ways. This paper studies the co-evolution of public and private sector debt in advanced countries since 1870. We find that in advanced economies financial stability risks have come from private sector credit booms ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2013-37

Working Paper
The Great Mortgaging: Housing Finance, Crises, and Business Cycles

This paper unveils a new resource for macroeconomic research: a long-run dataset covering disaggregated bank credit for 17 advanced economies since 1870. The new data show that the share of mortgages on banks? balance sheets doubled in the course of the 20th century, driven by a sharp rise of mortgage lending to households. Household debt to asset ratios have risen substantially in many countries. Financial stability risks have been increasingly linked to real estate lending booms which are typically followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries. Housing finance has come to play a ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2014-23


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