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Going for broke: New Century Financial Corporation, 2004-2006

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  • Landier, Augustin
  • Sraer, David
  • Thesmar, David

Abstract

Using loan level data, we investigate the lending behavior of a large subprime mortgage issuer prior to its bankruptcy in the beginning of 2007. In 2004, this firm suddenly started to massively issue new loans contracts that featured deferred amortization ("interestonly loans") to high income and high FICO households. We document that these loans were not only riskier, but also that their returns were more sensitive to real estate prices than standard contracts. Implicitly, this lender dramatically increased its exposure to its own legacy asset, which is what a standard model of portfolio selection in distress would predict. We provide additional evidence on New Century’s lending behavior, which are consistent with a risk shifting strategy. Finally, we are able to tie this sudden change in behavior to the sharp monetary policy tightening implemented by the Fed in the spring of 2004. Our findings shed new light on the relationship between monetary policy and risk taking by financial institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Landier, Augustin & Sraer, David & Thesmar, David, 2010. "Going for broke: New Century Financial Corporation, 2004-2006," TSE Working Papers 10-199, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:23478
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:hrv:faseco:33077921 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 2010. "Unstable banking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 306-318, September.
    3. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496.
    4. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos González‐Aguado & Javier Suarez, 2015. "Interest Rates and Credit Risk," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(2-3), pages 445-480, March.

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