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The subprime mortgage crisis: irrational exuberance or rational error?

  • Nikola Kojucharov
  • Clyde F. Martin
  • Robert F. Martin
  • Lili Xu
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    We present a model of the subprime market in which credit quality and loan performance are driven by a statistical process with idiosyncratic and aggregate shocks. Investors use portfolio performance to infer the weight of each shock. We show that low and stable default rates from 2002-2005 convinced investors that the aggregate shock weight was small. In late 2006, when default rates surged, the market collapsed abruptly as investors abandoned their low-weight beliefs. We examine various proposals to fix the mortgage market and find that policy intervention has limited effectiveness in our model.

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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

    Volume (Year): (2009)
    Issue (Month): Jan ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2009:i:jan:x:12
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    6. Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2005. "Income volatility and residential mortgage delinquency across the EU," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 153-177, September.
    7. Kau, James B, et al, 1992. "A Generalized Valuation Model for Fixed-Rate Residential Mortgages," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(3), pages 279-99, August.
    8. Lambrecht, Bart M & Perraudin, William R M & Satchell, Steven, 2003. " Mortgage Default and Possession under Recourse: A Competing Hazards Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 425-42, June.
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    14. Kau, James B, et al, 1993. "Option Theory and Floating-Rate Securities with a Comparison of Adjustable- and Fixed-Rate Mortgages," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(4), pages 595-618, October.
    15. John C. Weicher, 2007. "The Long and Short of Housing: The Home Ownership Boom and the Subprime Foreclosure Bust," NFI Policy Briefs 2007-PB-09, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
    16. Jan Kregel, 2008. "Minsky’s Cushions of Safety: Systemic Risk and the Crisis in the U.S. Subprime Mortgage Market," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_93, Levy Economics Institute.
    17. Sanford J. Grossman & Guy Laroque, 1987. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," NBER Working Papers 2369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    19. 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.
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