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Shadow banking

  • Zoltan Pozsar
  • Tobias Adrian
  • Adam Ashcraft
  • Hayley Boesky

The rapid growth of the market-based financial system since the mid-1980s changed the nature of financial intermediation in the United States profoundly. Within the market-based financial system, "shadow banks" are particularly important institutions. Shadow banks are financial intermediaries that conduct maturity, credit, and liquidity transformation without access to central bank liquidity or public sector credit guarantees. Examples of shadow banks include finance companies, asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) conduits, limited-purpose finance companies, structured investment vehicles, credit hedge funds, money market mutual funds, securities lenders, and government-sponsored enterprises. ; Shadow banks are interconnected along a vertically integrated, long intermediation chain, which intermediates credit through a wide range of securitization and secured funding techniques such as ABCP, asset-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, and repo. This intermediation chain binds shadow banks into a network, which is the shadow banking system. The shadow banking system rivals the traditional banking system in the intermediation of credit to households and businesses. Over the past decade, the shadow banking system provided sources of inexpensive funding for credit by converting opaque, risky, long-term assets into money-like and seemingly riskless short-term liabilities. Maturity and credit transformation in the shadow banking system thus contributed significantly to asset bubbles in residential and commercial real estate markets prior to the financial crisis. ; We document that the shadow banking system became severely strained during the financial crisis because, like traditional banks, shadow banks conduct credit, maturity, and liquidity transformation, but unlike traditional financial intermediaries, they lack access to public sources of liquidity, such as the Federal Reserve's discount window, or public sources of insurance, such as federal deposit insurance. The liquidity facilities of the Federal Reserve and other government agencies' guarantee schemes were a direct response to the liquidity and capital shortfalls of shadow banks and, effectively, provided either a backstop to credit intermediation by the shadow banking system or to traditional banks for the exposure to shadow banks. Our paper documents the institutional features of shadow banks, discusses their economic roles, and analyzes their relation to the traditional banking system.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 458.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:458
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  1. Ashcraft, Adam B. & Schuermann, Til, 2008. "Understanding the Securitization of Subprime Mortgage Credit," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 191-309, June.
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  7. Adam B. Ashcraft, 2005. "Are Banks Really Special? New Evidence from the FDIC-Induced Failure of Healthy Banks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1712-1730, December.
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  15. Király, Júlia & Nagy, Márton & Szabó E., Viktor, 2008. "Egy különleges eseménysorozat elemzése - a másodrendű jelzáloghitel-piaci válság és (hazai) következményei
    [Analysis of a special sequence of events - the crisis on the secondary mortgage market an
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 573-621.
  16. Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2010. "The changing nature of financial intermediation and the financial crisis of 2007-09," Staff Reports 439, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  17. Olivier Armantier & Sandra Krieger & James McAndrews, 2008. "The Federal Reserve's Term Auction Facility," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 14(Jul).
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