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Stressed not Frozen: The Fed Funds Market in the Financial Crisis

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Listed:
  • Gara Afonso
  • Anna Kovner
  • Antoinette Schoar

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of the financial crisis of 2008 on the federal funds market, specifically the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. Rather than a complete collapse of lending in the presence of a market wide shock, we see that banks become more restrictive in which counterparties they lend to. After Lehman Brothers, we find that amounts and spreads become more sensitive to borrower bank characteristics. While the market does not contract dramatically, lending rates increase. Further, the market does not seem to expand to meet the increased demand predicted by the drop in other bank funding markets. We examine discount window borrowing as a proxy for unmet fed funds demand and find that the fed funds market is not indiscriminate. As expected, borrowers who access the discount window have lower ROA. When looking at the lender side we do not find that the characteristics of the lending bank importantly affect the amount of interbank loans a bank makes. In particular, we do not find that worse performing banks start hoarding liquidity and indiscriminately reduce their lending.

Suggested Citation

  • Gara Afonso & Anna Kovner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "Stressed not Frozen: The Fed Funds Market in the Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15806
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Furfine, Craig, 2002. "The interbank market during a crisis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 809-820, May.
    2. Heider, F. & Hoerova, M. & Holthausen, C., 2009. "Liquidity Hoarding and Interbank Market Spreads : The Role of Counterparty Risk," Discussion Paper 2009-40 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Celso Brunetti & Mario di Filippo & Jeffrey H. Harris, 2011. "Effects of Central Bank Intervention on the Interbank Market During the Subprime Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2053-2083.
    4. Flannery, Mark J & Sorescu, Sorin M, 1996. " Evidence of Bank Market Discipline in Subordinated Debenture Yields: 1983-1991," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1347-1377, September.
    5. Furfine, Craig, 2003. "Standing Facilities and Interbank Borrowing: Evidence from the Federal Reserve's New Discount Window," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 329-347, Winter.
    6. Bruche, Max & Suarez, Javier, 2010. "Deposit insurance and money market freezes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 45-61, January.
    7. Xavier Freixas & José Jorge, 2008. "The Role of Interbank Markets in Monetary Policy: A Model with Rationing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(6), pages 1151-1176, September.
    8. Olivier Armantier & Sandra C. Krieger & James J. McAndrews, 2008. "The Federal Reserve's Term Auction Facility," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 14(Jul).
    9. Furfine, Craig H, 2001. "Banks as Monitors of Other Banks: Evidence from the Overnight Federal Funds Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 33-57, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Affinito, Massimiliano, 2012. "Do interbank customer relationships exist? And how did they function in the crisis? Learning from Italy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3163-3184.
    2. Gorton, Gary & Metrick, Andrew, 2012. "Securitized banking and the run on repo," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 425-451.
    3. Christensen, Bent Jesper & Nielsen, Morten Ørregaard & Zhu, Jie, 2015. "The impact of financial crises on the risk–return tradeoff and the leverage effect," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 407-418.
    4. Acharya, Viral V. & Skeie, David, 2011. "A model of liquidity hoarding and term premia in inter-bank markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(5), pages 436-447.
    5. Gara Afonso & Ricardo Lagos, 2015. "Trade Dynamics in the Market for Federal Funds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 263-313, January.
    6. Massimiliano Affinito, 2013. "Central bank refinancing, interbank markets, and the hypothesis of liquidity hoarding: evidence from a euro-area banking system," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 928, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. Ritz, Robert A. & Walther, Ansgar, 2015. "How do banks respond to increased funding uncertainty?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 386-410.
    8. Acharya, Viral V & Mora, Nada, 2011. "Are Banks Passive Liquidity Backstops? Deposit Rates and Flows during the 2007-2009 Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 8706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Olivier Armantier & Adam Copeland, 2012. "Assessing the quality of “Furfine-based” algorithms," Staff Reports 575, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    10. Sébastien Philippe Kraenzlin & Benedikt von Scarpatetti, 2011. "Bargaining Power in the Repo Market," Working Papers 2011-14, Swiss National Bank.
    11. Gale, Douglas & Yorulmazer, Tanju, 2013. "Liquidity hoarding," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(2), May.
    12. Jason Allen & Ali Hortaçsu & Jakub Kastl, 2011. "Analyzing Default Risk and Liquidity Demand during a Financial Crisis: The Case of Canada," Staff Working Papers 11-17, Bank of Canada.
    13. Viral V. Acharya & Ouarda Merrouche, 2013. "Precautionary Hoarding of Liquidity and Interbank Markets: Evidence from the Subprime Crisis," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 107-160.
    14. Liliana B Schumacher & Theodore M. Barnhill, 2011. "Modeling Correlated Systemic Liquidity and Solvency Risks in a Financial Environment with Incomplete Information," IMF Working Papers 11/263, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Elizabeth C. Klee, 2011. "The first line of defense: the discount window during the early stages of the financial crisis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. Afonso, Gara M. & Lagos, Ricardo, 2012. "An empirical study of trade dynamics in the interbank market," Staff Reports 550, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Jun 2014.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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