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Liquidity Shocks and the US Housing Credit Crisis of 2007–2008

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  • Gianni La Cava

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

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    Abstract

    There is extensive anecdotal evidence to suggest that a significant tightening in credit conditions, or a 'credit crunch', occurred in the United States following the collapse of the loan securitisation market in 2007. However, there has been surprisingly little formal testing for the existence of a credit crunch in the context of the US housing market. In this paper I examine whether the fall in mortgage credit over 2007–2008 was caused by a reduction in credit supply which, in turn, can be traced to a fall in the amount of financing available to mortgage lenders. I use the differential exposures of individual mortgage lenders to the collapse of the securitisation market in 2007 as a source of cross-lender variation in lender financing conditions and assess the impact on residential mortgage lending. Using loan-level information to control for unobservable credit demand shocks, I show that mortgage lenders that were particularly reliant on loan securitisation disproportionately reduced the supply of mortgage credit. The negative liquidity shock caused by the shutdown of the securitisation market explains a significant share of the aggregate decline in mortgage credit during this crisis.

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    Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2013-05.

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    Date of creation: May 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2013-05

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    Keywords: bank liquidity; credit supply; mortgage market; housing;

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    1. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," Working papers 95-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
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    14. Murillo Campello & Erasmo Giambona & John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey, 2011. "Liquidity Management and Corporate Investment During a Financial Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 1944-1979.
    15. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," NBER Working Papers 4789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Eric S. Rosengren & Joe Peek, 2000. "Collateral Damage: Effects of the Japanese Bank Crisis on Real Activity in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 30-45, March.
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