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Aggregate Risk and the Choice between Cash and Lines of Credit

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  • Acharya, Viral V
  • Almeida, Heitor
  • Campello, Murillo

Abstract

We model corporate liquidity policy and show that aggregate risk exposure is a key determinant of how firms choose between cash and bank credit lines. Banks create liquidity for firms by pooling their idiosyncratic risks. As a result, firms with high aggregate risk find it costly to get credit lines and opt for cash in spite of higher opportunity costs and liquidity premium. Likewise, in times when aggregate risk is high, firms rely more on cash than on credit lines. We verify these predictions empirically. Cross-sectional analyses show that firms with high exposure to systematic risk have a higher ratio of cash to credit lines and face higher spreads on their lines. Time-series analyses show that firms' cash reserves rise in times of high aggregate volatility and in such times credit lines initiations fall, their spreads widen, and maturities shorten. Also consistent with the mechanism in the model, we find that exposure to undrawn credit lines increases bank-specific risks in times of high aggregate volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Acharya, Viral V & Almeida, Heitor & Campello, Murillo, 2012. "Aggregate Risk and the Choice between Cash and Lines of Credit," CEPR Discussion Papers 8913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8913
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jose M. Berrospide & Ralf R. Meisenzahl & Briana D. Sullivan, 2012. "Credit line use and availability in the financial crisis: the importance of hedging," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Auray, Stéphane & de Blas, Beatriz, 2013. "Investment, matching and persistence in a modified cash-in-advance economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 591-610.
    3. repec:eee:ecmode:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:249-269 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Acharya, Viral V. & Afonso, Gara & Kovner, Anna, 2017. "How do global banks scramble for liquidity? Evidence from the asset-backed commercial paper freeze of 2007," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 1-34.
    5. Acharya, Viral V & Mora, Nada, 2011. "Are Banks Passive Liquidity Backstops? Deposit Rates and Flows during the 2007-2009 Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 8706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Filippo Ippolito & Ander Perez, 2012. "Credit Lines: The Other Side of Corporate Liquidity," Working Papers 618, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    7. Anna Białek-Jaworska & Natalia Nehrebecka, 2016. "The role of bank credit in business financing in Poland," Working Papers 2016-03, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asset beta; bank lines of credit; cash holdings; liquidity management; loan maturity; loan spreads; systemic risk;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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