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Credit Traps

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  • Efraim Benmelech
  • Nittai K. Bergman

Abstract

This paper studies the limitations of monetary policy in stimulating credit and investment. We show that, under certain circumstances, unconventional monetary policies fail in that liquidity injections into the banking sector are hoarded and not lent out. We use the term "credit traps" to describe such situations and show how they can arise due to the interplay between financing frictions, liquidity, and collateral values. We show that small contractions in monetary policy can lead to a collapse in lending. Our analysis demonstrates how quantitative easing may be useful in increasing collateral prices, bank lending, and aggregate investment. (JEL E44, E52, E58, G01)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 (October)
Pages: 3004-32

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:6:p:3004-32

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References

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  1. Efraim Benmelech & Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias Moskowitz, 2004. "Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation," NBER Working Papers 11004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas, 2000. "Corporate finance and the monetary transmission mechanism," Economics Working Papers 511, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1991. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 3892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1991/233, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Viral V. Acharya & S. Viswanathan, 2011. "Leverage, Moral Hazard, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 99-138, 02.
  6. Efraim Benmelech, 2009. "Asset Salability and Debt Maturity: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century American Railroads," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1545-1584, April.
  7. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 2000. "Bubbles and Crises," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 236-55, January.
  8. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Sudden Stops, Financial Crises, and Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1941-66, December.
  9. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "An Adverse Selection Model of Bank Asset and Liability Management with Implications for the Transmission of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Viral V. Acharya & Hyun Song Shin & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2009. "Crisis Resolution and Bank Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 15567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John Geanakoplos & Ana Fostel, 2008. "Leverage Cycles and the Anxious Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1211-44, September.
  12. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
  13. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2008. "Collateral Pricing," NBER Working Papers 13874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Adriano A. Rampini & S. Viswanathan, 2010. "Collateral, Risk Management, and the Distribution of Debt Capacity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2293-2322, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Nadauld, Taylor D. & Weisbach, Michael S., 2010. "Did Securitization Affect the Cost of Corporate Debt?," Working Paper Series 2010-16, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  2. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2009. "Unstable Banking," NBER Working Papers 14943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Massa, Massimo & Zhang, Lei, 2013. "Monetary policy and regional availability of debt financing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 439-458.

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