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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. Xavier Freixas & Cornelia Holthausen, 2001. "Interbank market integration under asymmetric information," Economics Working Papers 579, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Furfine, Craig H., 2000. "Interbank payments and the daily federal funds rate," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 535-553, October.
  3. Furfine, Craig, 2002. "The interbank market during a crisis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 809-820, May.
  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.
  5. 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).
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  7. Xavier Freixas & Antoine Martin & David Skeie, 2010. "Bank Liquidity, Interbank Markets and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 429, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  8. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2004. "A unified framework for monetary theory and policy analysis," Staff Report 346, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. 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.
  10. Viral V. Acharya & Denis Gromb & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2012. "Imperfect Competition in the Interbank Market for Liquidity as a Rationale for Central Banking," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 184-217, April.
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  12. Hayne E. Leland and David H. Pyle., 1976. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 41, University of California at Berkeley.
  13. Patrick Bolton & Tano Santos & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2011. "Outside and Inside Liquidity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 259-321.
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  16. Franklin Allen & Elena Carletti & Douglas Gale, 2009. "Interbank Market Liquidity and Central Bank Intervention," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/09, European University Institute.
  17. 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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  23. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.).
  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. 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.

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