Understanding Bank and Nonbank Credit Cycles: A Structural Exploration
We explore the structural drivers of bank and nonbank credit cycles using an estimated medium-scale macro model that allows for bank and nonbank financial intermediation. We posit economy-wide aggregate and sectoral disturbances to potentially drive bank and nonbank credit growth. We find that sectoral shocks affecting the balance sheets of entrepreneurs who borrow from the financial sector are important for the business cycle frequency fluctuations in bank and nonbank credit growth. Economy-wide entrepreneurial risk shocks gain predominance for explaining the longer-horizon comovement ...
Houses as ATMs No Longer
Housing equity is the primary form of collateral that households use for borrowing. This makes it a potentially important source of consumption funding, especially for younger households. In a previous post we showed that owner?s equity in residential real estate has finally, thanks to increasing home prices, rebounded to and essentially re-attained its 2005 peak level. Yet in spite of a gain of more than $7 trillion in housing equity since 2012, so far homeowners haven?t been tapping this equity at anything like the pace we witnessed during the housing boom that ended in 2006. In this post, ...
Financial Stability and Regulatory Policy in a Low Interest Rate Environment
I would suggest that the potential costs of the excessive leverage that arise in a low interest rate environment deserve more research and, I suspect, more focused and proactive policy actions.
Components of U.S. financial sector growth, 1950-2013
The U.S. financial sector grew steadily as a share of the total business sector from 1959 until the recent financial crisis, when the trend reversed. In this article, the authors develop measures based on firm-level data to estimate the size of the financial sector and its subsectors relative to the total business (financial and nonfinancial) sector over time. The analysis further sheds light on how these size measures are affected by a firm?s choice of financing (whether public or private), firm size, industry type, use of leverage, and regulation. The authors find that the relative size of ...
Tracking and stress-testing U.S. household leverage
Housing equity is an important component of borrowers? wealth and a critical determinant of their vulnerability to shocks. In this article, the authors use a unique, newly created data set to analyze the evolution of household leverage?defined here as the ratio of housing debt to housing values?over time and across locations in the United States, at the micro level. They find that leverage was at a very low point just prior to the large declines in house prices that began in 2006, and rose very quickly through 2012, in spite of reductions in housing debt. As of early 2017, leverage statistics ...
How Resilient Is the U.S. Housing Market Now?
Housing is by far the most important asset for most households, and, not coincidentally, housing debt dwarfs other household liabilities. The relationship between housing debt and housing values figures significantly in financial and macroeconomic stability, as events during the housing bust of 2006-12 clearly demonstrated. This week, Liberty Street Economics presents five posts touching on various aspects of housing, from the changing relationship between mortgage debt and housing equity to the future of homeownership. In today?s post, we provide estimates of housing equity and explore how ...
A quantitative analysis of the u.s. housing and mortgage markets and the foreclosure crisis
We present a model of long-duration collateralized debt with risk of default. Applied to the housing market, it can match the homeownership rate, the average foreclosure rate, and the lower tail of the distribution of home-equity ratios across homeowners prior to the recent crisis. We stress the role of favorable tax treatment of housing in matching these facts. We then use the model to account for the foreclosure crisis in terms of three shocks: overbuilding, financial frictions, and foreclosure delays. The financial friction shock accounts for much of the decline in house prices, while the ...
Housing Wealth Effects: The Long View
We provide new time-varying estimates of the housing wealth effect back to the 1980s. We use three identification strategies: OLS with a rich set of controls, the Saiz housing supply elasticity instrument, and a new instrument that exploits systematic differences in city-level exposure to regional house price cycles. All three identification strategies indicate that housing wealth elasticities were if anything slightly smaller in the 2000s than in earlier time periods. This implies that the important role housing played in the boom and bust of the 2000s was due to larger price movements ...
Leverage over the Firm Life Cycle, Firm Growth, and Aggregate Fluctuations
We study the leverage of U.S. firms over their life cycles and the connection between firm leverage, firm growth, and aggregate shocks. We construct a new dataset that combines private and public firms' balance sheets with firm-level data from U.S. Census Bureau's Longitudinal Business Database for the period 2005-12. Public and private firms exhibit different leverage dynamics over their life cycles. Firm age and size are systematically related to leverage for private firms but not for public firms. We show that private firms, but not public ones, deleveraged during the Great Recession and ...
Revisiting Gertler-Gilchrist Evidence on the Behavior of Small and Large Firms
Gertler and Gilchrist (1994) provide evidence for the prevailing view that adverse shocks are propagated via credit constraints of small firms. We revisit the behavior of small versus large firms during the episodes of credit disruption and recessions in the sample extended to cover the 2007-09 economic crisis. We find that large firms'' short-term debt and sales contracted relatively more than those of small firms during the 2007-09 episode. Furthermore, the short-term debt of large firms also contracted relatively more in the previous tight money episodes if one takes into account the ...