Two Monetary Tools: Interest Rates and Haircuts
In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25
We study a production economy with multiple sectors financed by issuing securities to agents who face capital constraints. Binding capital constraints propagate business cycles, and a reduction of the interest rate can increase the required return of high-haircut assets since it can increase the shadow cost of capital for constrained agents. The required return can be lowered by easing funding constraints through lowering haircuts. To assess empirically the power of the haircut tool, we study the natural experiment of the introduction of the legacy Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF). We estimate that the TALF program reduced required returns by more than 0.70% using a triple difference-in-difference regression. Further, unique survey evidence suggests the effect could be more than 3% and provides broader evidence on the demand sensitivity to haircuts.
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