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Reviewing the Leverage Cycle

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    We review the theory of leverage developed in collateral equilibrium models with incomplete markets. We explain how leverage tends to boost asset prices, and create bubbles. We show how leverage can be endogenously determined in equilibrium, and how it depends on volatility. We describe the dynamic feedback properties of leverage, volatility, and asset prices, in what we call the Leverage Cycle. We also describe some cross-sectional implications of multiple leverage cycles, including contagion, flight to collateral, and swings in the issuance volume of the highest quality debt. We explain the differences between the leverage cycle and the credit cycle literature. Finally, we describe an agent based model of the leverage cycle in which asset prices display clustered volatility and fat tails even though all the shocks are essentially Gaussian.

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    File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d19a/d1918.pdf
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    Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1918.

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    Length: 50 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1918
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    Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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    Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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    1. Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010. "Liquidity and leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
    2. Fostel, Ana & Geanakoplos, John, 2012. "Why does bad news increase volatility and decrease leverage?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 501-525.
    3. P. Dubey & J. Geanakoplos, 2001. "Competitive Pooling: Rothschild-Stiglitz Reconsidered," Department of Economics Working Papers 01-10, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    4. Laura E. Kodres & Matthew Pritsker, 2002. "A Rational Expectations Model of Financial Contagion," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 769-799, 04.
    5. Tobias Adrian & Nina Boyarchenko, 2012. "Intermediary Leverage Cycles and Financial Stability," Working Papers 2012-010, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    6. Lagos, Ricardo, 2010. "Asset prices and liquidity in an exchange economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 913-930, November.
    7. Nicolae G�rleanu & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2011. "Margin-based Asset Pricing and Deviations from the Law of One Price," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 1980-2022.
    8. Viral V. Acharya & S. Viswanathan, 2011. "Leverage, Moral Hazard, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 99-138, 02.
    9. Lasse Heje Pederson & Markus K Brunnermeier, 2007. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," FMG Discussion Papers dp580, Financial Markets Group.
    10. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 2005. "Efficient Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 1504, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Ana Fostel & John Geanakoplos, 2013. "Leverage and Default in Binomial Economies: A Complete Characterization," Working Papers 2013-16, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and the Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-91, August.
    13. Gale, Douglas, 1992. "A Walrasian Theory of Markets with Adverse Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 229-55, April.
    14. 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.
    15. Harrison, J Michael & Kreps, David M, 1978. "Speculative Investor Behavior in a Stock Market with Heterogeneous Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 323-36, May.
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