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The fragility of discretionary liquidity provision - lessons from the collapse of the auction rate securities market

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  • Song Han
  • Dan Li
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    Abstract

    We study the fragility of discretionary liquidity provision by major financial intermediaries during systemic events. The laboratory of our study is the recent collapse of the auction rate securities (ARS) market. Using a comprehensive dataset constructed from auction reports and intraday transactions data on municipal ARS, we present quantitative evidence that auction dealers acted at their own discretion as "market makers" before the market collapsed. We show that this discretionary liquidity provision greatly affected both net investor demand and auction clearing rates. Importantly, such discretionary liquidity provision is fragile. As auction dealers suffered losses from other financial markets and faced increasing inventory pressure, they stopped making markets. Moreover, the drop in support occurred suddenly, apparently triggered by the unexpected withdrawal of one major broker-dealer.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2010-50.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2010-50

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    Keywords: Securities ; Auctions ; Municipal bonds ; Liquidity (Economics);

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    1. Marco LiCalzi & Alessandro Pavan, 2002. "Tilting the Supply Schedule to Enhance Competition in Uniform- Price Auctions," Game Theory and Information 0210003, EconWPA.
    2. Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2009. "Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007-2008," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 77-100, Winter.
    3. Brunnermeier, Markus K & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2007. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 6179, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Viral V. Acharya & Philipp Schnabl & Gustavo Suarez, 2010. "Securitization without risk transfer," NBER Working Papers 15730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Damianov, Damian S., 2005. "The uniform price auction with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 152-158, August.
    8. McAdams, David, 2007. "Adjustable supply in uniform price auctions: Non-commitment as a strategic tool," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 48-53, April.
    9. De Bandt, Olivier & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "Systemic risk: A survey," Working Paper Series 0035, European Central Bank.
    10. Richard Green & Burton Hollifield & Norman Schurhoff, . "Dealer Intermediation and Price Behavior in the Aftermarket for New Bond Issues," GSIA Working Papers 2005-E56, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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    12. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
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