Equity Depletion from Government-Guaranteed Debt
Government guarantees of private debt deplete equity. The depletion is greatest during periods when the probability of a guarantee payoff is highest. In a setting otherwise subject to Modigliani-Miller neutrality, firms issue guaranteed debt up to the limit the government permits. Declines in asset values raise debt in relation to asset values and thus deplete equity directly, under the realistic assumption that the government is unable to enforce rules calling for marking asset values to market. Less widely recognized is that guaranteed debt creates an incentive to pay equity out to owners -- such a payout lowers the value of the firm's call option on its assets by less than the amount of the payout. I build a simple dynamic equilibrium model of an economy that would have a constant consumption/capital ratio but for debt guarantees. Exogenous changes in asset values cause major swings in allocations as participants respond to changing incentives. Periods when default is unusually likely because asset values have fallen are times of abnormally high consumption/capital ratios. The withdrawal of equity from firms to pay for the consumption will turn out to be free on the margin if the firm defaults. Consumers concentrate their consumption during the periods when consumption is cheap. Because these periods are transitory, they generate expectations of negative consumption growth, which implies that interest rates are low. Thus guarantees generate substantial volatility throughout the economy.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Equity Depletion from Government-Guaranteed Debt, December 2008, published as Chapter 7 of Forward-Looking Decision Making, titled “Financial Stability with Government-Guaranteed Debt.”|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Ilhyock Shim, 2007.
"Forbearance and Prompt Corrective Action,"
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 1107-1129, 08.
- Narayana Kocherlakota & Ilhyock Shim, 2005. "Forbearance and Prompt Corrective Action," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000532, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Ilhyock Shim & Narayana Kocherlakota, 2005. "Forbearance and prompt corrective action," BIS Working Papers 177, Bank for International Settlements.
- Narayana R Kocherlakota & Ilhyock Shim, 2005. "Forbearance and Prompt Corrective Action," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000512, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Narayana Kocherlakota & Ilhyock Shim, 2005. "Forbearance and Prompt Corrective Action," 2005 Meeting Papers 324, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
- George A. Akerlof & Paul M. Romer, 1993. "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 1-74.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14581. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.