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Aggregate Risk and the Choice between Cash and Lines of Credit

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  • Acharya, Viral V
  • Almeida, Heitor
  • Campello, Murillo

Abstract

We model corporate liquidity policy and show that aggregate risk exposure is a key determinant of how firms choose between cash and bank credit lines. Banks create liquidity for firms by pooling their idiosyncratic risks. As a result, firms with high aggregate risk find it costly to get credit lines and opt for cash in spite of higher opportunity costs and liquidity premium. Likewise, in times when aggregate risk is high, firms rely more on cash than on credit lines. We verify these predictions empirically. Cross-sectional analyses show that firms with high exposure to systematic risk have a higher ratio of cash to credit lines and face higher spreads on their lines. Time-series analyses show that firms' cash reserves rise in times of high aggregate volatility and in such times credit lines initiations fall, their spreads widen, and maturities shorten. Also consistent with the mechanism in the model, we find that exposure to undrawn credit lines increases bank-specific risks in times of high aggregate volatility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8913.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8913

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Related research

Keywords: asset beta; bank lines of credit; cash holdings; liquidity management; loan maturity; loan spreads; systemic risk;

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References

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  1. Adriano Rampini & Andrea Eisfeldt, 2005. "Financing Shortfalls and the Value of Aggregate Liquidity," 2005 Meeting Papers 889, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Auray, Stéphane & de Blas, Beatriz, 2013. "Investment, matching and persistence in a modified cash-in-advance economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 591-610.
  2. Acharya, Viral V & Mora, Nada, 2011. "Are Banks Passive Liquidity Backstops? Deposit Rates and Flows during the 2007-2009 Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 8706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Viral V. Acharya & Gara Afonso & Anna Kovner, 2013. "How do global banks scramble for liquidity? Evidence from the asset-backed commercial paper freeze of 2007," Staff Reports 623, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Filippo Ippolito & Ander Pérez Orive, 2012. "Credit lines: The other side of corporate liquidity," Economics Working Papers 1311, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Jose M. Berrospide & Ralf R. Meisenzahl & Briana D. Sullivan, 2012. "Credit line use and availability in the financial crisis: the importance of hedging," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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