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Bank Leverage Cyles

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  • Carlos Thomas

    (Banco de España)

  • Galo Nuno

    (European Central Bank)

Abstract

We document the cyclical dynamics in the balance sheets of US leveraged financial intermediaries in the post-war period. Leverage has contributed more than equity to fluctuations in total assets. All three variables are several times more volatile than GDP. Leverage has been positively correlated with assets and (to a lesser extent) GDP, and negatively correlated with equity. These findings are robust across financial subsectors. We then build a general equilibrium model with banks subject to endogenous leverage constraints, and assess its ability to replicate the facts. In the model, banks borrow in the form of collateralized risky debt. The presence of moral hazard creates a link between the volatility in bank asset returns and bank leverage. We find that, while standard TFP shocks fail to replicate the volatility and cyclicality of leverage, volatility shocks are relatively successful in doing so.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 220.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:220

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  1. Gertler, Mark & Karadi, Peter, 2011. "A model of unconventional monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-34, January.
  2. Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Liquidity and leverage," Staff Reports 328, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  7. Diego Comin & Mark Gertler, 2003. "Medium Term Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 10003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2014. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," Working Papers 14-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. 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.
  10. John Geanakoplos & Ana Fostel, 2008. "Leverage Cycles and the Anxious Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1211-44, September.
  11. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  12. Krishnamurthy, Arvind & Nagel, Stefan & Orlov, Dmitry, 2012. "Sizing Up Repo," CEPR Discussion Papers 8795, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Tobias Adrian & Paolo Colla & Hyun Song Shin, 2012. "Which Financial Frictions? Parsing the Evidence from the Financial Crisis of 2007-9," NBER Working Papers 18335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
  15. Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2012. "Financial frictions and fluctuations in volatility," Staff Report 466, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Hyman P. Minsky, 1992. "The Financial Instability Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_74, Levy Economics Institute.
  18. John Geanakoplos, 2009. "The Leverage Cycle," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1715R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jan 2010.
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Cited by:
  1. Moro, Alessio & Nuño, Galo & Tedde, Pedro, 2013. "A twin crisis with multiple banks of issue: Spain in the 1860s," Working Paper Series 1561, European Central Bank.
  2. Kiley, Michael T. & Sim, Jae W., 2014. "Bank capital and the macroeconomy: Policy considerations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 175-198.

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