Can banks provide liquidity in a financial crisis?
In financial crises of the recent past, investors often withdrew from securities markets and placed their funds into safer assets, such as U.S. Treasuries and bank deposits. During such episodes, a wide range of businesses shut out of securities markets sought to fund their operations by drawing down credit lines established with banks during normal times. Awash with funds from depositors seeking a safe haven, banks had no difficulty meeting these increased credit demands. Thus, banks helped avoid financial disruptions and business liquidations that would have occurred in the absence of a liquidity backstop. ; In 2007-09, however, banks were at the center of the financial crisis. While significant risks were present in some other financial institutions, this crisis was special in that commercial banks were much more exposed to losses than in recent past crises. This key feature of the crisis casts doubt on the notion that banks are a natural source of liquidity during financial crises. Were bank deposits still viewed as a safe haven, and if not, how compromised was their ability to meet the demand for liquidity? ; Mora examines how commercial bank deposits and lending evolved during the recent crisis compared with past episodes of financial stress. She concludes that the bank-centered nature of the crisis made it harder than in the past for banks to attract deposits and provide liquidity to borrowers shut out of securities markets.
Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): Q III ()
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