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Liquidity, Contagion and Financial Crisis


  • Guembel, Alexander
  • Sussman, Oren


We develop a theoretical model where a redistribution of bank capital (e.g., due to reckless trading and/or faulty risk management) leads to a “freeze” of the interbank market. The fire-sale market plays a central role in spreading the crisis to the real economy. In crisis, credit rationing and liquidity hoarding appear simultaneously; endogenous levels of collateral (or margin requirements) are affected by both low fire-sale prices and high lending rates. Relative to previous analysis, this dual channel generates a stronger price and output effect. The main focus is on the policy analysis. We show that i) non-discriminating equity injections are more effective than liquidity injections, but in both the welfare effect is an order-of-magnitude lower than the price effect; ii) a discriminating policy that bails out only distressed banks is feasible but will be limited by incentive-compatibility constraints; iii) a restriction on international capital flows has an ambiguous effect on welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Guembel, Alexander & Sussman, Oren, 2010. "Liquidity, Contagion and Financial Crisis," IDEI Working Papers 664, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:24167

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Debt deflation; Bailout; Liquidity Injection;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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