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Intermediary leverage cycles and financial stability

We present a theory of financial intermediary leverage cycles within a dynamic model of the macroeconomy. Intermediaries face risk-based funding constraints that give rise to procyclical leverage and a procyclical share of intermediated credit. The pricing of risk varies as a function of intermediary leverage, and asset return exposures to intermediary leverage shocks earn a positive risk premium. Relative to an economy with constant leverage, financial intermediaries generate higher consumption growth and lower consumption volatility in normal times, at the cost of endogenous systemic ...
Staff Reports , Paper 567

Working Paper
Resolving the spanning puzzle in macro-finance term structure models

Previous macro-finance term structure models (MTSMs) imply that macroeconomic state variables are spanned by (i.e., perfectly correlated with) model-implied bond yields. However, this theoretical implication appears inconsistent with regressions showing that much macroeconomic variation is unspanned and that the unspanned variation helps forecast excess bond returns and future macroeconomic fluctuations. We resolve this contradiction?or ?spanning puzzle??by reconciling spanned MTSMs with the regression evidence, thus salvaging the previous macro-finance literature. Furthermore, we ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2015-1

Financial vulnerability and monetary policy

We present a microfounded New Keynesian model that features financial vulnerabilities. Financial intermediaries' occasionally binding value-at-risk constraints give rise to variation in the pricing of risk that generates time-varying risk in the conditional mean and volatility of the output gap. The conditional mean and volatility are negatively related: during times of easy financial conditions, growth tends to be high, and risk tends to be low. Monetary policy affects output directly through the investment-savings curve, and indirectly through the pricing of risk that relates to the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 804

On the scale of financial intermediaries

This paper studies the economic scale of financial institutions. We show that banks and security broker-dealers actively smooth book equity by adjusting payouts. The smoothing of book equity is associated with procyclical book leverage and procyclical net payouts. In contrast, market leverage largely reflects movements in valuation levels as measured by book-to-market ratios. The 2008 crisis caused a structural break, after which the growth rates of the banking and dealer sectors have been subdued relative to pre-crisis levels. We draw conclusions for theories of financial intermediation and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 743

Discussion Paper
Weathering the Storm: Who Can Access Credit in a Pandemic?

Credit enables firms to weather temporary disruptions in their business that may impair their cash flow and limit their ability to meet commitments to suppliers and employees. The onset of the COVID recession sparked a massive increase in bank credit, largely driven by firms drawing on pre-committed credit lines. In this post, which is based on a recent Staff Report, we investigate which firms were able to tap into bank credit to help sustain their business over the ensuing downturn.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20201013a

Bank Liquidity Provision across the Firm Size Distribution

Using loan-level data covering two-thirds of all corporate loans from U.S. banks, we document that SMEs (i) obtain much shorter maturity credit lines than large firms; (ii) have less active maturity management and therefore frequently have expiring credit; (iii) post more collateral on both credit lines and term loans; (iv) have higher utilization rates in normal times; and (v) pay higher spreads, even conditional on other firm characteristics. We present a theory of loan terms that rationalizes these facts as the equilibrium outcome of a trade-off between commitment and discretion. We test ...
Staff Reports , Paper 942



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