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Amplification Mechanisms in Liquidity Crises

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  • Arvind Krishnamurthy

Abstract

I describe two amplifications mechanisms that operate during crises and discuss the benefits of policy given each mechanism. The first mechanism involves asset prices and balance sheets. A negative shock to agents' balance sheets causes them to liquidate assets, lowering prices, further deteriorating balance sheets and amplifying the shock. The second mechanism involves investors' Knightian uncertainty. Unusual shocks to untested financial innovations increase agents' uncertainty about their investments, causing them to disengage from markets and amplifying the crisis. Liquidity provision by the central bank alleviates the crisis in both mechanisms. Ex ante policies such as liquidity/capital requirements may also be beneficial. (JEL E32, E44, G01, G21, G32)

Suggested Citation

  • Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2010. "Amplification Mechanisms in Liquidity Crises," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 1-30, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:1-30
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.3.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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