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Leverage and Asset Bubbles: Averting Armageddon with Chapter 11?


  • Marcus Miller
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz


An iconic model with high leverage and overvalued collateral assets is used to illustrate the amplification mechanism driving asset prices to 'overshoot' equilibrium when an asset bubble bursts--threatening widespread insolvency and what Richard Koo calls a 'balance sheet recession'. Besides interest rates cuts, asset purchases and capital restructuring are key to crisis resolution. The usual bankruptcy procedures for doing this fail to internalise the price effects of asset 'fire-sales' to pay down debts, however. We discuss how official intervention in the form of 'super' Chapter 11 actions can help prevent asset price correction causing widespread economic disruption.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Miller & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2010. "Leverage and Asset Bubbles: Averting Armageddon with Chapter 11?," NBER Working Papers 15817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15817
    Note: ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary Gorton, 2008. "The Panic of 2007," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2372, Yale School of Management.
    2. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-248, April.
    3. Prasanna Gai & Sujit Kapadia & Stephen Millard & Ander Perez, 2008. "Financial Innovation, Macroeconomic Stability and Systemic Crises," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 401-426, March.
    4. Anton Korinek, 2009. "Systemic Risk: Amplification Effects, Externalities, and Policy Responses," Working Papers 155, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    5. Gorton, Gary B., 2008. "The panic of 2007," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 131-262.
    6. Edison, Hali J & Luangaram, Pongsak & Miller, Marcus, 2000. "Asset Bubbles, Leverage and 'Lifeboats': Elements of the East Asian Crisis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 309-334, January.
    7. Gary Gorton, 2009. "The Subprime Panic," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 15(1), pages 10-46.
    8. Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2009. "Amplification Mechanisms in Liquidity Crises," NBER Working Papers 15040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jason Furman & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1998. "Economic Crises: Evidence and Insights from East Asia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 1-136.
    10. Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2003. "Collateral constraints and the amplification mechanism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 277-292, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcus Miller & Lei Zhang, 2015. "The Hedgehog and the Fox: From DSGE to Macro-Pru," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83, pages 31-55, September.
    2. Jean-Bernard Chatelain & Kirsten Ralf, 2012. "The Failure Of Financial Macroeconomics And What To Do About It," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 80, pages 21-53, September.
    3. Julián A.Parra Polanía & Carmiña O.Vargas Riaño, 2012. "Valor óptimo del impuesto sobre flujos de capital para Colombia," Borradores de Economia 715, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    4. Semmler, Willi & Bernard, Lucas, 2012. "Boom–bust cycles: Leveraging, complex securities, and asset prices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 442-465.
    5. Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 2012. "Whither Capitalism? Financial Externalities and Crisis," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 79, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    6. Jean- Bernard Chatelain, 2012. "Try again, macroeconomists," Chapters,in: What’s Right with Macroeconomics?, chapter 4, pages 90-109 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. repec:gam:jecnmx:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:27-:d:102204 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Mauricio Arango & Carlos Esteban Posada & Jorge Andrés Tamayo, 2011. "El sistema crediticio, la política monetaria y un posible origen de ciclos y crisis financieras," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 29(64), pages 32-61.
    9. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2014. "Experimental evidence on the ‘insidious’ illiquidity risk," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 315-323.
    10. Eleni Iliopulos & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2012. "L'intermédiation financière dans l'analyse macroéconomique : le défi de la crise," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 451(1), pages 91-130.
    11. Keshab Bhattarai, 2015. "Financial Deepening and Economic Growth in Advanced and Emerging Economies," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 178-195, February.
    12. Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 2014. "Macroeconomics after the crisis – hedgehog or fox?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9974, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Hirano, Tomohiro & Inaba, Masaru, 2010. "Asset Price Bubbles in the Kiyotaki-Moore Model," MPRA Paper 36632, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Bole, Velimir & Prašnikar, Janez & Trobec, Domen, 2014. "Policy measures in the deleveraging process: A macroprudential evaluation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 410-432.
    15. Mauricio Arango, 2014. "Collateralized assets prices and monetary policy," DOCUMENTOS DE DISCUSION FLAR 011853, FONDO LATINO AMERICANO DE RESERVAS - FLAR.
    16. repec:hal:psewpa:halshs-00744047 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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