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Monetary Easing, Leveraged Payouts and Lack of Investment

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  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Guillaume Plantin

Abstract

This paper studies a model in which a low monetary policy rate lowers the cost of capital for entrepreneurs, potentially spurring productive investment. Low interest rates, however, also induce entrepreneurs to lever up so as to increase payouts to equity. Whereas such leveraged payouts privately benefit entrepreneurs, they come at the social cost of reducing their incentives thereby lowering productivity and discouraging investment. If leverage is unregulated (for example, due to the presence of a shadow-banking system), then the optimal monetary policy seeks to contain such socially costly leveraged payouts by stimulating investment in response to adverse shocks only up to a level below the first-best. The optimal monetary policy may even consist of “leaning against the wind,” i.e., not stimulating the economy at all, in order to fully contain leveraged payouts and maintain productive efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Viral V. Acharya & Guillaume Plantin, 2019. "Monetary Easing, Leveraged Payouts and Lack of Investment," NBER Working Papers 26471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26471
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    Cited by:

    1. Altavilla, Carlo & Laeven, Luc & Peydró, José-Luis, 2020. "Monetary and Macroprudential Policy Complementarities: evidence from European credit registers," CEPR Discussion Papers 15539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Mathias Lé & Frédéric Vinas, 2020. "The Financing of Investment: Firm Size, Asset Tangibility and the Size of Investment," Working papers 777, Banque de France.
    3. Erasmo Giambona & Rafael Matta & José-Luis Peydró & Ye Wang, 2020. "Quantitative easing, investment, and safe assets: the corporate-bond lending channel," Economics Working Papers 1722, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2020.
    4. Darmouni, Olivier & Papoutsi, Melina, 2022. "The rise of bond financing in Europe: five facts about new and small issuers," Working Paper Series 2663, European Central Bank.
    5. Wang, Olivier, 2020. "Banks, low interest rates, and monetary policy transmission," Working Paper Series 2492, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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