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Equity Capital, Bankruptcy Risk and the Liquidity Trap

  • Oren Levintal

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

This paper explains the emergence of liquidity traps in the aftermath of large-scale financial crises, as happened in the US 1930s, Japan 1990s and recently in the US and Europe. The paper introduces a new balance sheet channel that links equity capital to the risk-free interest rate. When equity capital falls, bankruptcy risks rise. Firms become more vulnerable to external shocks, which makes financial disasters more likely to happen. Consequently, demand for safe assets increases, and the interest rate falls to the lower bound. Simulations show that the interest rate may stay at the lower bound for a long time.

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File URL: http://econ.biu.ac.il/files/economics/working-papers/2012-07.pdf
File Function: Working paper
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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-07.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2012-07
Contact details of provider: Postal: Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar Ilan University 52900 Ramat-Gan
Phone: Phone: +972-3-5318345
Fax: +972-3-7384034
Web page: http://www.biu.ac.il/soc/ecEmail:


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  1. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2008. "Great Expectations and the End of the Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1476-1516, September.
  2. Auerbach, Alan J & Obstfeld, Maurice, 2004. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 4447, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil K, 2010. "Will the U.S. bank recapitalization succeed? Eight lessons from Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 398-417, September.
  4. Charles W. Calomiris & Berry Wilson, 2004. "Bank Capital and Portfolio Management: The 1930s "Capital Crunch" and the Scramble to Shed Risk," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(3), pages 421-456, July.
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  6. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi & Guido Ruta, 2010. "Equilibrium Corporate Finance," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/01, European University Institute.
  7. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
  8. Jeanne, Olivier & Svensson, Lars E O, 2004. "Credible Commitment to Optimal Escape from a Liquidity Trap: The Role of the Balance Sheet of an Independent Central Bank," CEPR Discussion Papers 4599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1991. "Arbitrage, Short Sales, and Financial Innovation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1041-68, July.
  10. Hoshi, Takeo, 2001. "What Happened to Japanese Banks?," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(1), pages 1-29, February.
  11. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Detragiache, Enrica & Rajan, Raghuram, 2008. "The real effect of banking crises," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 89-112, January.
  12. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  13. Douglas Gale & Onur Özgür, 2005. "Are Bank Capital Ratios too High or too Low? Incomplete Markets and Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 690-700, 04/05.
  14. Makowski, Louis, 1983. "Competitive Stock Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 305-30, April.
  15. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2000. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Departmental Working Papers 199925, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  16. Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Mitsuhiro Fukao, 2002. "Financial Sector Profitability and Double-Gearing," NBER Working Papers 9368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Xavier Gabaix, 2008. "Variable Rare Disasters: A Tractable Theory of Ten Puzzles in Macro-finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 64-67, May.
  19. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
  20. Hoshi, Takeo & Ito, Takatoshi, 2004. "Financial regulation in Japan: a sixth year review of the Financial Services Agency," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 229-243, December.
  21. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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