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Working Paper
Credit Risk, Liquidity and Lies

We reexamine the relative effects of credit risk and liquidity in the interbank market using bank-level panel data on Libor submissions and CDS spreads. Our model synthesizes previous work by combining the fundamental determinants of interbank spreads with the effects of strategic misreporting by Libor-submitting firms. We find that interbank spreads were very sensitive to credit risk at the peak of the crisis. However, liquidity premia constitute the bulk of those spreads on average, and Federal Reserve interventions coincide with improvements in liquidity at short maturities. Accounting for ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-112

Discussion Paper
When Do Trade Frictions Increase Liquidity?

Economists tend to assume that frictions that limit trading in financial markets reduce liquidity and lower investor welfare. In this blog I discuss a recent staff study of mine that challenges that conventional wisdom. I explain how introducing trading frictions—such as circuit breakers—that slow or halt trading in an over-the-counter market experiencing a fire sale might, paradoxically, lead to higher liquidity and investor welfare.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20111219

Discussion Paper
Is Treasury Market Liquidity Becoming More Concentrated

In an earlier post, we showed that Treasury market liquidity appears reasonably good by historical standards. That analysis focused on the most liquid benchmark securities, largely because data availability is best for those securities. However, some studies, such as this one and this one, report that market liquidity is concentrating in the most liquid securities at the expense of the less liquid, so that looking only at the benchmark securities gives a misleading impression. In this post, I look at trading volume information reported by the Federal Reserve to test whether liquidity is ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160211

Working Paper
Bank Complexity, Governance, and Risk

Bank holding companies (BHCs) can be complex organizations, conducting multiple lines of business through many distinct legal entities and across a range of geographies. While such complexity raises the the costs of bank resolution when organizations fail, the effect of complexity on BHCs' broader risk profiles is less well understood. Business, organizational, and geographic complexity can engender explicit trade-offs between the agency problems that increase risk and the diversification, liquidity management, and synergy improvements that reduce risk. The outcomes of such trade-offs may ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1287

Discussion Paper
The Evolution of Workups in the U.S. Treasury Securities Market

The market for benchmark U.S. Treasury securities is one of the deepest and most liquid in the world. Although trading in the interdealer market for these securities is over-the-counter, it features a central limit order book (CLOB) similar to that found in exchange-traded instruments, such as equities and futures. A distinctive feature of this market is the ?workup? protocol, whereby the execution of a marketable order opens a short time window during which market participants can transact additional volume at the same price. With the broadening of the interdealer market to include hedge ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150820

Working Paper
Intermediation Frictions in Debt Relief: Evidence from CARES Act Forbearance

We study the role of mortgage servicers in implementing the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite universal eligibility,we document that a significant number of federally backed mortgage borrowers be-come delinquent during the pandemic without successfully entering into a forbearance program, and that the relative frequency of these "missing" forbearances varies significantly across mortgage servicers for otherwise identical loans. Forbearance out-comes are systematically related to servicer characteristics including size, liquidity and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-017

The Risk of Becoming Risk Averse: A Model of Asset Pricing and Trade Volumes

We develop a new general equilibrium model of asset pricing and asset trading volume in which agents? motivations to trade arise due to uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks to agents? risk tolerance. In response to these shocks, agents trade to rebalance their portfolios between risky and riskless assets. We study a positive question ? When does trade volume become a pricing factor? ? and a normative question ? What is the impact of Tobin taxes on asset trading on welfare? In our model, economies in which marketwide risk tolerance is negatively correlated with trade volume have a higher risk ...
Staff Report , Paper 577

Working Paper
Fedwire Funds Service: Payments, Balances, and Available Liquidity

We analyze the universe of payments settled through the Fedwire Funds Service--the primary U.S. real-time gross settlement service operated by the Federal Reserve--for the period January 2004 to December 2020. We report on trends in payments volume, payments value, balances, and overdrafts, in addition to documenting changes in the behavior of financial institutions transacting via the Fedwire Funds Service.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-070

Banks, Liquidity Management, and Monetary Policy

We develop a new framework to study the implementation of monetary policy through the banking system. Banks finance illiquid loans by issuing deposits. Deposit transfers across banks must be settled using central bank reserves. Transfers are random and therefore create liquidity risk, which in turn determines the supply of credit and the money multiplier. We study how different shocks to the banking system and monetary policy affect the economy by altering the trade-off between profiting from lending and incurring greater liquidity risk. We calibrate our model to study quantitatively why ...
Staff Report , Paper 503

Working Paper
Credit and Liquidity Policies during Large Crises

We compare firms’ financials during the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) and COVID-19. While the two crises featured similar increases in credit spreads, debt and liquid assets decreased during the GFC, but increased during COVID-19. In the cross section, leverage was the main determinant of credit spreads and investment during the GFC, but liquidity was more important during COVID-19. We augment a quantitative model of firm capital structure with a motive to hold liquid assets. The GFC resembled a combination of productivity and financial shocks, while COVID-19 also featured liquidity shocks. ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-035


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