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The 2007 Subprime Market Crisis Through the Lens of European Central Bank Auctions for Short-Term Funds

  • Nuno Cassola
  • Ali Hortacsu
  • Jakub Kastl

In this paper we study European banks' demand for short-term funds (liquidity) during the summer 2007 subprime market crisis. We use bidding data from the European Central Bank's auctions for one-week loans, their main channel of monetary policy implementation. Through a model of bidding, we show that banks' behavior reflects their cost of obtaining short-term funds elsewhere (i.e., in the interbank market) as well as a strategic response to other bidders. We find considerable heterogeneity across banks in their willingness to pay for short-term funds supplied in these auctions. Accounting for the strategic component is important: while a naive interpretation of the raw bidding data may suggest that virtually all banks suffered a dramatic increase in the cost of obtaining funds in the interbank market, we find that for about one third of the banks, the change in bidding behavior was simply a strategic response. Using a complementary data set, we also find that banks' pre-turmoil liquidity costs, as estimated by our model, are predictive of their post-turmoil liquidity costs, and that there is considerable heterogeneity in these costs with respect to the country-of-origin. Finally, among the publicly traded banks, the willingness to pay for short-term funds in the second half of 2007 are predictive of stock prices in late 2008.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15158.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Publication status: published as Nuno Cassola & Ali Hortaçsu & Jakub Kastl, 2013. "The 2007 Subprime Market Crisis Through the Lens of European Central Bank Auctions for Short‐Term Funds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1309-1345, 07.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15158
Note: AP EFG IFM IO ME
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  1. Bindseil, Ulrich & Nyborg, Kjell G. & Strebulaev, Ilya A., 2004. "Bidding and Performance in Repo Auctions: Evidence from ECB Open Market Operations," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt9878h0kn, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
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  7. Ewerhart, Christian & Cassola, Nuno & Valla, Natacha, 2010. "Declining valuations and equilibrium bidding in central bank refinancing operations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 30-43, January.
  8. Kastl, Jakub, 2012. "On the properties of equilibria in private value divisible good auctions with constrained bidding," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 339-352.
  9. Arnold, Lutz G., 2005. "On the Possibility of Credit Rationing in the Stiglitz-Weiss Model," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 403, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  10. Ewerhart, Christian & Tapking, Jens, 2008. "Repo markets, counterparty risk and the 2007/2008 liquidity crisis," Working Paper Series 0909, European Central Bank.
  11. Athey, Susan & Haile, Philip A., 2007. "Nonparametric Approaches to Auctions," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 60 Elsevier.
  12. Eisenschmidt, Jens & Tapking, Jens, 2009. "Liquidity risk premia in unsecured interbank money markets," Working Paper Series 1025, European Central Bank.
  13. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and Its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 239-53, January.
  14. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Burcu Duygan-Bump & José Fillat & Judit Montoriol-Garriga, 2008. "Looking behind the aggregates: a reply to “Facts and Myths about the Financial Crisis of 2008”," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU08-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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