Stress testing effects on portfolio similarities among large US Banks
We use an expansive regulatory loan-level dataset to analyze how the portfolios of the largest US banks have evolved since 2011. In particular, we analyze how the commercial and industrial and commercial real estate loan portfolios have changed in response to stress-testing requirements stipulated in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. We find that the largest US banks, which are subject to stress testing, have become more similar since the current form of the stress testing was implemented in 2011. We also find that banks with poor stress test results tend to adjust their portfolios in a way that makes ...
The Intersection of U.S. Money Market Mutual Fund Reforms, Bank Liquidity Requirements, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System
The most recent changes to money market fund regulations have had a strong impact on the money fund industry. In the months leading up to the compliance date of the core provisions of the amended regulations, assets in prime money market funds declined significantly, while those in government funds increased contemporaneously. This reallocation from prime to government funds has contributed to the latter's increased demand for debt issued by the U.S. government and government-sponsored enterprises. The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) System played a key role in meeting this heightened demand ...
The Shift from Active to Passive Investing: Potential Risks to Financial Stability?
The past couple of decades have seen a significant shift in assets from active to passive investment strategies. We examine the potential effects of this shift on financial stability through four different channels: (1) effects on investment funds? liquidity transformation and redemption risks; (2) passive strategies that amplify market volatility; (3) increases in asset-management industry concentration; and (4) the effects on valuations, volatility, and comovement of assets that are included in indexes. Overall, the shift from active to passive investment strategies appears to be increasing ...
The importance of incentives in ensuring a resilient and robust financial system: remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
Remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
Precautionary Demand and Liquidity in Payment Systems
In large-value real-time gross settlement payment systems, banks rely heavily on incoming funds to finance outgoing payments. Such reliance necessitates a high degree of coordination and synchronization. We construct a model of a payment system calibrated for the U.S. Fedwire system and examine the impact of realistic disruptions motivated by the recent financial crisis. In such settings, individually cautious behavior can have a significant and detrimental impact on the overall functioning of the payment system through a multiplier effect. Our results quantify the mutually reinforcing nature ...
A pilot survey of agent securities lending activity
This paper reports aggregate statistics on securities lending activity based on a recently concluded pilot data collection by staff from the Office of Financial Research (OFR), the Federal Reserve System, and staff from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In its annual reports, the Financial Stability Oversight Council identified a lack of data about securities lending activity as a priority for the Council. This pilot data collection was a step toward addressing this critical data need. The voluntary pilot collection included end-of-day loan-level data for three non-consecutive ...
Caught between Scylla and Charybdis? Regulating bank leverage when there is rent seeking and risk shifting
We consider a model in which banking is characterized by asset substitution moral hazard and managerial underprovision of effort in loan monitoring. The privately optimal bank leverage efficiently balances the benefit of debt in providing the discipline to ensure that the bank monitors its loans against the benefit of equity in attenuating asset-substitution moral hazard. However, when correlated bank failures impose significant social costs, regulators bail out bank creditors. Anticipation of this action generates multiple equilibria, including an equilibrium featuring systemic risk, in ...
Is size everything?
We examine sources of systemic risk (threshold size, complexity, and interconnectedness) with factors constructed from equity returns of large financial firms, after accounting for standard risk factors. From the factor loadings and factor returns, we estimate the implicit government subsidy for each systemic risk measure, and find that, from 1963 to 2006, only our big-versus-huge threshold size factor, TSIZE, implies a positive implicit subsidy on average. Further, pre-2007 TSIZE-implied subsidies predict the Federal Reserve?s liquidity facility loans and the Treasury?s TARP loans during the ...
Discussion of “Systemic Risk and the Solvency-Liquidity Nexus of Banks”
Pierret (2015) presents empirical analysis of the solvency-liquidity nexus for the banking system, documenting that a shock to the level of banks? solvency risk is followed by lower short-term debt. Conversely, higher short-term debt Granger-causes higher solvency risk. These results point toward a tight interaction between solvency and liquidity risk over time. My comments are threefold. First, I suggest improving the identification of shocks in Pierret?s vector autoregressive setup. Second, I caution against using the quantitative results as the basis for setting policy. Third, I recommend ...
Repo and securities lending
We provide an overview of the data required to monitor repo and securities lending markets for the purposes of informing policymakers and researchers about firm-level and systemic risk. We start by explaining the functioning of these markets and argue that it is crucial to understand the institutional arrangements. Data collection is currently incomplete. A comprehensive collection would include, at a minimum, six characteristics of repo and securities lending trades at the firm level: principal amount, interest rate, collateral type, haircut, tenor, and counterparty.