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Credit Traps

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  • Efraim Benmelech
  • Nittai K. Bergman

Abstract

This paper studies the limitations of monetary policy transmission within a credit channel frame- work. We show that, under certain circumstances, the credit channel transmission mechanism fails in that liquidity injections by the central bank 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. Our analysis offers a characterization of the problems created by credit traps as well as potential solutions and policy implications. Among these, the analysis shows how quantitative easing and fiscal policy acting in conjunction with monetary policy may be useful in increasing bank lending. Further, the model shows how small contractions in monetary policy or in loan supply can lead to collapses in lending, aggregate investment, and collateral prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16200.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Publication status: published as Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2012. "Credit Traps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 3004-32, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16200

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  1. Viral V. Acharya & S. Viswanathan, 2010. "Leverage, Moral Hazard and Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 15837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Geanakoplos & Ana Fostel, 2008. "Leverage Cycles and the Anxious Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1211-44, September.
  3. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," Working papers 592, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Sudden Stops, Financial Crises, and Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1941-66, December.
  5. Viral V. Acharya & Hyun Song Shin & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2011. "Crisis Resolution and Bank Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2166-2205.
  6. Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 309-40, May.
  7. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas, 2000. "Corporate finance and the monetary transmission mechanism," Economics Working Papers 511, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. 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.
  9. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2008. "Collateral Pricing," NBER Working Papers 13874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 2000. "Bubbles and Crises," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 236-55, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Nadauld, Taylor D. & Weisbach, Michael S., 2012. "Did securitization affect the cost of corporate debt?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 332-352.
  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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