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Credit Traps

  • Efraim Benmelech
  • Nittai K. Bergman

This paper studies the limitations of monetary policy in stimulating credit and investment. We show that, under certain circumstances, unconventional monetary policies fail in that liquidity injections 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. We show that small contractions in monetary policy can lead to a collapse in lending. Our analysis demonstrates how quantitative easing may be useful in increasing collateral prices, bank lending, and aggregate investment. (JEL E44, E52, E58, G01)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 (October)
Pages: 3004-32

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:6:p:3004-32
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  6. Benmelech, Efraim & Bergman, Nittai K., 2009. "Collateral pricing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 339-360, March.
  7. Bolton, Patrick & Freixas, Xavier, 2001. "Corporate Finance and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2892, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. John Geanakoplos & Ana Fostel, 2008. "Leverage Cycles and the Anxious Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1211-44, September.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:309-40 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Viral V. Acharya & Hyun Song Shin & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2009. "Crisis Resolution and Bank Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 15567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Sudden Stops, Financial Crises, and Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1941-66, December.
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