IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

News, Intermediation Efficiency and Expectations-driven Boom-bust Cycles

  • Christopher M. Gunn
  • Alok Johri

The years leading up to the "great recession" were a time of rapid innovation in the financial industry. This period also saw a fall in interest rates, and a boom in liquidity that accompanied the boom in real activity, especially investment. In this paper we argue that these were not unrelated phenomena. The adoption of new financial products and practices led to a fall in the expected costs of intermediation which in turn engendered the flood of liquidity in the financial sector, lowered interest rate spreads and facilitated the boom in economic activity. When the events of 2007-2009 led to a re-evaluation of the effectiveness of these new products, agents revised their expectations regarding the actual efficiency gains available to the financial sector and this led to a withdrawal of liquidity from the financial system, a reversal in interest rates and a bust in real activity. We treat the efficiency of the financial sector as an exogenous process and study the impact of "news shocks" regarding this process. Following the expectations driven business cycle literature, we model the boom and bust cycle in terms of an expected future efficiency gain which is eventually not realized. The build up in liquidity and economic activity in expectation of these efficiency gains is then abruptly reversed when agent's hopes are dashed. The model generates counter-cyclical movements in the spread between lending rates and the risk-free rate which are driven purely by expectations, even in the absence of any exogenous movement in intermediation costs.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2011-02.

in new window

Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2011-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4M4
Phone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 22765
Fax: (905) 521-8232
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Canadian Macro Study Group

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2011-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.