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A model of stigma in the fed funds market

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  • Humberto M. Ennis
  • John A. Weinberg

Abstract

It is often the case that banks in the US are willing to borrow in the fed funds market (the interbank market for funds) at higher rates than the ones they could obtain by borrowing at the Fed's discount window. This phenomenon is commonly explained as the consequence of the existence of a stigma effect attached to borrowing from the window. Most policymakers and empirical researchers consider the stigma hypothesis plausible. Yet, no formal treatment of the issue has ever been provided in the literature. In this paper, we fill that gap by studying a model of interbank credit where: (1) banks benefit from engaging in intertemporal trade with other banks and with outside investors; and (2) informational frictions limit those trade opportunities. In our model, banks obtain loans in an over-the-counter market (involving search, bilateral matching, and negotiations over the terms of the loan) and hold assets of heterogeneous qualities which in turn determine their ability to repay those loans. When asset quality is not perfectly unobservable by outside investors, information about the actions taken by a bank in the credit market may influence the price at which it can sell its asset. In particular, under some conditions, discount window borrowing may be regarded as a negative signal about the quality of the borrower's assets. In such cases, some of the banks in our model, just as in the data, are willing to accept loans in the interbank market at higher rates than the ones they could obtain at the discount window.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we095937.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we095937

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Keywords: Interbank market; Private information; Signaling; Banking;

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References

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  1. Furfine, Craig, 2002. "The interbank market during a crisis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 809-820, May.
  2. Kim, Youngse, 2003. "Income distribution and equilibrium multiplicity in a stigma-based model of tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1591-1616, August.
  3. Xavier Freixas, 2005. "Interbank Market Integration under Asymmetric Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 459-490.
  4. Heider, F. & Hoerova, M. & Holthausen, C., 2009. "Liquidity Hoarding and Interbank Market Spreads: The Role of Counterparty Risk," Discussion Paper 2009-40 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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  7. Darrell Duffie & Nicolae Garleanu & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2004. "Over-the-Counter Markets," NBER Working Papers 10816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Patrick Bolton & Tano Santos & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2009. "Outside and Inside Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 14867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Stavros Peristiani, 1998. "The Growing Reluctance To Borrow At The Discount Window: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 611-620, November.
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  17. Thomas B. King, 2008. "Discipline and Liquidity in the Interbank Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 295-317, 03.
  18. Adam B. Ashcraft & Darrell Duffie, 2007. "Systemic Illiquidity in the Federal Funds Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 221-225, May.
  19. Leonardo Bartolini & Svenja Gudell & Spence Hilton & Krista Schwarz, 2005. "Intraday trading in the overnight federal funds market," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 11(Nov).
  20. Furfine, Craig, 2003. "Standing Facilities and Interbank Borrowing: Evidence from the Federal Reserve's New Discount Window," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 329-47, Winter.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Affinito, Massimiliano, 2013. "Central bank refinancing, interbank markets and the hypothesis of liquidity hoarding: evidence from a euro-area banking system," Working Paper Series 1607, European Central Bank.
  2. Massimiliano Affinito, 2013. "Central bank refinancing, interbank markets, and the hypothesis of liquidity hoarding: evidence from a euro-area banking system," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 928, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Elizabeth Klee, 2011. "The first line of defense: the discount window during the early stages of the financial crisis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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