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Liquidity, runs, and security design: lessons from the collapse of the auction rate municipal bond market

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  • Song Han
  • Dan Li

Abstract

In this paper, we use the recent collapse of the ARS market as a case study on important issues regarding fragility of financial innovations and systemic risks. We find strong evidence of investor runs for liquidity, partly caused by a self-fulfilling panic. In addition, coordination failures triggered by an unexpected first mover led all major broker-dealers to simultaneously withdraw their liquidity support. We also find that the likelihood of auction failures and ARS reset rates depend significantly on both the rule and the level of maximum auction rates; that, as predicted by auction theories, there is also strong evidence for underpricing after dealers with-drew their liquidity supports; and that inter-auction secondary market liquidity may encourage aggressive bidding that increases the reset rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Song Han & Dan Li, 2009. "Liquidity, runs, and security design: lessons from the collapse of the auction rate municipal bond market," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jan.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2009:i:jan:x:7
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    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/economics/conferences/0901/Han-Li.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. LiCalzi, Marco & Pavan, Alessandro, 2005. "Tilting the supply schedule to enhance competition in uniform-price auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 227-250, January.
    2. Daniel T. Winkler & George B. Flanigan, 1991. "Default Risk Premia In The Near-Cash Investment Market: The Case Of Auction Rate Preferred Stock Versus Commercial Paper," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 14(4), pages 337-343, December.
    3. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
    4. Kjell G. Nyborg, 2004. "Multiple Unit Auctions and Short Squeezes," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 545-580.
    5. Damianov, Damian S., 2005. "The uniform price auction with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 152-158, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vivian Yue & Bin Wei, 2013. "Dynamic Debt Runs and the Market for Variable Rate Demand Obligations," 2013 Meeting Papers 1308, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Daniel M. Covitz & J. Nellie Liang & Gustavo A. Suarez, 2009. "The evolution of a financial crisis: panic in the asset-backed commercial paper market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Patrick E. McCabe, 2010. "The cross section of money market fund risks and financial crises," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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