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Liquidity and Liquidation

  • Kelly, David
  • LeRoy, Stephen F.

The manager of a firm that is selling an illiquid asset has discretion as to the sale price: if he chooses a high (low) selling price, early sale is unlikely (likely). If the manager has the option to default on the debt that is collaterized by the illiquid asset, the optimal selling price depends on whether the manager acts in the interest of the owners or the creditors. We model the former case. In the preferred equilibrium, the owner will always offer the illiquid asset for sale at a strictly higher price than he paid, and he will always default if he fails to sell. As a result, the illiquid asset changes hands at successively higher prices; the price inflation terminates upon the first failure to sell, which results in a default chain.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt4fq7n6pj.

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Date of creation: 07 Dec 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt4fq7n6pj
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  1. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  2. John G. Riley & Richard Zeckhauser, 1980. "Optimal Selling Strategies:," UCLA Economics Working Papers 180, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  4. Krainer, John, 2001. "A Theory of Liquidity in Residential Real Estate Markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 32-53, January.
  5. Ko Wang & Leslie Young & Yuqing Zhou, 2002. "Nondiscriminating Foreclosure and Voluntary Liquidating Costs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 959-985.
  6. Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1978. "The Insignificance of Bankruptcy Costs to the Theory of Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(2), pages 383-93, May.
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