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Precautionary Reserves and the Interbank Market

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  • ADAM ASHCRAFT
  • JAMES MCANDREWS
  • DAVID SKEIE

Abstract

Liquidity hoarding by banks and extreme volatility of the fed funds rate have been widely seen as severely disrupting the interbank market and the broader financial system during the 2007-08 financial crisis. Using data on intraday account balances held by banks at the Federal Reserve and Fedwire interbank transactions to estimate all overnight fed funds trades, we present empirical evidence on banks' precautionary hoarding of reserves, their reluctance to lend, and extreme fed funds rate volatility. We develop a model with credit and liquidity frictions in the interbank market consistent with the empirical results. Our theoretical results show that banks rationally hold excess reserves intraday and overnight as a precautionary measure against liquidity shocks. Moreover, the intraday fed funds rate can spike above the discount rate and crash to near zero. Apparent anomalies during the financial crisis may be seen as stark but natural outcomes of our model of the interbank market. The model also provides a unified explanation for several stylized facts and makes new predictions for the interbank market.
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Suggested Citation

  • Adam Ashcraft & James Mcandrews & David Skeie, 2011. "Precautionary Reserves and the Interbank Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 311-348, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:43:y:2011:i::p:311-348 DOI: j.1538-4616.2011.00438.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adam B. Ashcraft & Darrell Duffie, 2007. "Systemic Illiquidity in the Federal Funds Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 221-225, May.
    2. Adam B. Ashcraft & Hoyt Bleakley, 2006. "On the market discipline of informationally opaque firms: evidence from bank borrowers in the federal funds market," Staff Reports 257, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    3. Quiros, Gabriel Perez & Mendizabal, Hugo Rodriguez, 2006. "The Daily Market for Funds in Europe: What Has Changed with the EMU?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 91-118, February.
    4. repec:eee:jbfina:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:135-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Huberto M. Ennis & John A. Weinberg, 2007. "Interest on reserves and daylight credit," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 111-142.
    6. Allen, Linda & Peristiani, Stavros & Saunders, Anthony, 1989. "Bank Size, Collateral, and Net Purchase Behavior in the Federal Funds Market: Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(4), pages 501-515, October.
    7. Berentsen, Aleksander & Monnet, Cyril, 2008. "Monetary policy in a channel system," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1067-1080, September.
    8. McAndrews, James & Sarkar, Asani & Wang, Zhenyu, 2017. "The effect of the term auction facility on the London interbank offered rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 135-152.
    9. Furfine, Craig H., 2000. "Interbank payments and the daily federal funds rate," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 535-553, October.
    10. Allen, Linda & Saunders, Anthony, 1986. "The large-small bank dichotomy in the federal funds market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 219-230, June.
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