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Illiquidity and All Its Friends

Listed author(s):
  • Jean Tirole

The recent crisis was characterized by massive illiquidity. This paper reviews what we know and don't know about illiquidity and all its friends: market freezes, fire sales, contagion, and ultimately insolvencies and bailouts. It first explains why liquidity cannot easily be apprehended through a single statistic, and asks whether liquidity should be regulated given that a capital adequacy requirement is already in place. The paper then analyzes market breakdowns due to either adverse selection or shortages of financial muscle, and explains why such breakdowns are endogenous to balance sheet choices and to information acquisition. It then looks at what economics can contribute to the debate on systemic risk and its containment. Finally, the paper takes a macroeconomic perspective, discusses shortages of aggregate liquidity, and analyzes how market value accounting and capital adequacy should react to asset prices. It concludes with a topical form of liquidity provision, monetary bailouts and recapitalizations, and analyzes optimal combinations thereof; it stresses the need for macro-prudential policies. ( JEL E44, G01, G21, G28, G32, L51)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jel.49.2.287
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 49 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 287-325

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:49:y:2011:i:2:p:287-325
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.49.2.287
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  1. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Exit Options in Corporate Finance: Liquidity versus Incentives," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 8(3), pages 327-353.
  3. 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.
  4. Ilhyock Shim, 2011. "Dynamic Prudential Regulation: Is Prompt Corrective Action Optimal?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(8), pages 1625-1661, December.
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  7. Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1991. "A Theory of Trading in Stock Index Futures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 17-51.
  8. Biais, Bruno & Mariotti, Thomas & Plantin, Guillaume & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2004. "Dynamic Security Design: Convergence to Continuous Time and Asset Pricing Implications," IDEI Working Papers 312, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Sep 2006.
  9. Heider, Florian & Hoerova, Marie & Holthausen, Cornelia, 2010. "Liquidity Hoarding and Interbank Market Spreads: The Role of Counterparty Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 7762, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Antoine Faure-Grimaud, 2004. "Public Trading and Private Incentives," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(4), pages 985-1014.
  11. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Interbank lending and systemic risk," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 733-765.
  12. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-419, June.
  13. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "Public Debt as Private Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 382-388, May.
  14. Jean Tirole, 2006. "The Theory of Corporate Finance," Post-Print hal-00173191, HAL.
  15. Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," NBER Working Papers 4084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Should Central Banks Respond to Movements in Asset Prices?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 253-257, May.
  17. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Controlling risk in payment systems," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 832-869.
  18. Uhlig, Harald, 2010. "A model of a systemic bank run," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 78-96, January.
  19. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  20. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362.
  21. Gorton, Gary B & Pennacchi, George G, 1993. "Security Baskets and Index-Linked Securities," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-27, January.
  22. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
  23. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Bruno Biais & Thomas Mariotti & Jean-Charles Rochet & StÈphane Villeneuve, 2010. "Large Risks, Limited Liability, and Dynamic Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 73-118, 01.
  25. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  26. Claudio Borio & Ilhyock Shim, 2007. "What can (macro-)prudential policy do to support monetary policy?," BIS Working Papers 242, Bank for International Settlements.
  27. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
  28. Goodhart, C., 2008. "Liquidity risk management," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 11, pages 39-44, February.
  29. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
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