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Money market funds intermediation, bank instability, and contagion

  • Marco Cipriani
  • Antoine Martin
  • Bruno M. Parigi

In recent years, U.S. banks have increasingly relied on deposits from financial intermediaries, especially money market funds (MMFs), which collect funds from large institutional investors and lend them to banks. In this paper, we show that intermediation through MMFs allows investors to limit their exposure to a given bank (i.e., reap gains from diversification). However, since MMFs are themselves subject to runs from their own investors, a banking system intermediated through MMFs is more unstable than one in which investors interact directly with banks. A mechanism through which instability can arise in an MMF-intermediated financial system is the release of private information on bank assets, which is aggregated by MMFs and could lead them to withdraw en masse from a bank. In addition, we show that MMF intermediation can also be a channel of contagion among banking institutions.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 599.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:599
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  1. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  2. Patrick E. McCabe & Marco Cipriani & Michael Holscher & Antoine Martin, 2012. "The minimum balance at risk: a proposal to mitigate the systemic risks posed by money market funds," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-47, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  4. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-74, September.
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