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Liquidity and the threat of fraudulent assets

  • Yiting Li
  • Guillaume Rocheteau
  • Pierre-Olivier Weill

We study an over-the-counter (OTC) market with bilateral meetings and bargaining where the usefulness of assets, as means of payment or collateral, is limited by the threat of fraudulent practices. We assume that agents can produce fraudulent assets at a positive cost, which generates endogenous upper bounds on the quantity of each asset that can be sold, or posted as collateral in the OTC market. Each endogenous, asset-specific, resalability constraint depends on the vulnerability of the asset to fraud, on the frequency of trade, and on the current and future prices of the asset. In equilibrium, the set of assets can be partitioned into three liquidity tiers, which differ in their resalability, their prices, their sensitivity to shocks, and their responses to policy interventions. The dependence of an asset’s resalability on its price creates a pecuniary externality, which leads to the result that some policies commonly thought to improve liquidity can be welfare reducing.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 1124.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1124
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  1. Robert Shimer & Randall Wright & Veronica Guerrieri, 2009. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," 2009 Meeting Papers 139, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Guillaume Rocheteau, 2009. "A monetary approach to asset liquidity," Working Paper 0901, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Xavier Gabaix & Arvind Krishnamurthy & Olivier Vigneron, 2005. "Limits of Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Market," NBER Working Papers 11851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sargent, Thomas J & Velde, Francois R, 1999. "The Big Problem of Small Change," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 137-61, May.
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  8. Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficiency Improvement from Restricting the Liquidity of Nominal Bonds," Working Papers tecipa-329, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Holmström, Bengt, 2011. "Inside and Outside Liquidity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262015783, June.
  10. Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2004. "Liquidity Premia in Dynamic Bargaining Markets," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 648, Econometric Society.
  11. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer, 2014. "Dynamic Adverse Selection: A Theory of Illiquidity, Fire Sales, and Flight to Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 1875-1908, July.
  12. Nosal, Ed & Wallace, Neil, 2007. "A model of (the threat of) counterfeiting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 994-1001, May.
  13. Edward J. Green & Warren Weber, 1996. "Will the New $100 Bill Decrease Counterfeiting?," Macroeconomics 9609003, EconWPA, revised 11 Sep 1996.
  14. Shouyong Shi, 2012. "Liquidity, Assets and Business Cycles," Working Papers tecipa-459, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  15. Benjamin Lester & Andrew Postlewaite & Randall Wright, 2008. "Information, Liquidity and Asset Prices," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-039, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  16. Freeman, Scott, 1985. "Transactions Costs and the Optimal Quantity of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 146-57, February.
  17. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362, February.
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