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Asset Fire Sales and Credit Easing

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  • Andrei Shleifer
  • Robert W. Vishny

Abstract

In a January 2009 lecture on the financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke advocated a new Fed policy of credit easing, defined as a combination of lending to financial institutions, providing liquidity directly to key credit markets, and buying of long term securities. We show that Bernanke's analysis and recommendations can be naturally considered in a model of "unstable banking," which relies on two mechanisms: 1) fire sales reduce asset prices below fundamental values, and 2) financial institutions prefer speculation to new lending when markets are dislocated. We analyze credit easing and compare it to alternative government interventions during the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2010. "Asset Fire Sales and Credit Easing," NBER Working Papers 15652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15652
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    1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. "Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-1366, September.
    2. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "Fear of Fire Sales and the Credit Freeze," NBER Working Papers 14925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-276, June.
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    5. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
    6. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 2010. "Unstable banking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 306-318, September.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Hui Chen & Bjorn N. Jorgensen, 2018. "Market Exit Through Divestment—The Effect of Accounting Bias on Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(1), pages 164-177, January.
    3. Racicot, François-Éric & Théoret, Raymond, 2019. "Hedge fund return higher moments over the business cycle," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 73-97.
    4. Racicot, François-Éric & Théoret, Raymond, 2018. "Multi-moment risk, hedging strategies, & the business cycle," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 637-675.
    5. Avgouleas, Emilios & Goodhart, Charles & Schoenmaker, Dirk, 2013. "Bank Resolution Plans as a catalyst for global financial reform," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 210-218.
    6. Dungey, Mardi & Milunovich, George & Thorp, Susan & Yang, Minxian, 2015. "Endogenous crisis dating and contagion using smooth transition structural GARCH," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 71-79.
    7. Ebrahimi Kahou, Mahdi & Lehar, Alfred, 2017. "Macroprudential policy: A review," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 92-105.
    8. Jimenez Porras, G. & Ongena, S. & Peydro, J.L. & Saurina, J., 2012. "Credit Supply versus Demand : Bank and Firm Balance-Sheet Channels in Good and Crisis Times," Other publications TiSEM a0842b60-0c4b-438b-a405-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Calmès, Christian & Théoret, Raymond, 2020. "Bank fee-based shocks and the U.S. business cycle," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    10. Anderson, Alyssa Gray, 2019. "Ambiguity in securitization markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 231-255.
    11. Sanjiv Das & Seoyoung Kim, 2016. "The Design and Risk Management of Structured Finance Vehicles," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-21, October.
    12. Gregoriou, Greg N. & Racicot, François-Éric & Théoret, Raymond, 2021. "The response of hedge fund tail risk to macroeconomic shocks: A nonlinear VAR approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 843-872.
    13. Hanson, Samuel G. & Sunderam, Adi, 2013. "Are there too many safe securities? Securitization and the incentives for information production," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 565-584.
    14. Pol, Eduardo, 2012. "The preponderant causes of the USA banking crisis 2007–08," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 519-528.
    15. Bleck, Alexander & Liu, Xuewen, 2018. "Credit expansion and credit misallocation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 27-40.
    16. Gertler, Mark & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Queralto, Albert, 2012. "Financial crises, bank risk exposure and government financial policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages 17-34.
    17. Racicot, François-Éric & Théoret, Raymond, 2016. "Macroeconomic shocks, forward-looking dynamics, and the behavior of hedge funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 41-61.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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