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The risk-Shifting Hypothesis : Evidence from Subprime Originations

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

Abstract

Using loan level data, we provide evidence consistent with risk-shifting in the lending behavior of a large subprime mortgage originator { New Century Financial Corporation { starting in 2004. This change follows the monetary policy tightening implemented by the Fed in the spring of 2004, which resulted in an adverse shock to the large portfolio of loans New Century was holding for investment. New Century reacted to this shock by massively resorting to deferred amortization loan contracts (\interest-only" loans). We show that these loans were not only riskier, but also that their returns were by design more sensitive to real estate prices than standard contracts. New Century was thus financing projects with a high beta on its own survival, as predicted by a standard model of portfolio selection in financial distress. Our findings shed new light on the relationship between monetary policy and risk taking by financial institutions. They also contribute to better characterizing the type of risk taken by financially distressed firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Landier, Augustin & Sraer, David & Thesmar, David, 2011. "The risk-Shifting Hypothesis : Evidence from Subprime Originations," TSE Working Papers 11-279, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:25604
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrian, Tobias & Liang, J. Nellie, 2014. "Monetary policy, financial conditions, and financial stability," Staff Reports 690, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Dec 2016.
    2. Iachan, Felipe Saraiva, 2017. "Capital budgeting and risk taking under credit constraints," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 786, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    3. Berndt, Antje & Hollifield, Burton & Sandås, Patrik, 2017. "What Broker Charges Reveal about Mortgage Credit Risk," Working Paper Series 336, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    4. repec:prg:jnlpep:v:preprint:id:667:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Arthur Korteweg & Morten Sorensen, 2012. "Estimating Loan-to-Value and Foreclosure Behavior," NBER Working Papers 17882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Beirne, John & Friedrich, Christian, 2017. "Macroprudential policies, capital flows, and the structure of the banking sector," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 47-68.
    7. Demyanyk, Yuliya & Loutskina, Elena, 2016. "Mortgage companies and regulatory arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 328-351.
    8. Hanson, Samuel G. & Stein, Jeremy C., 2015. "Monetary policy and long-term real rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 429-448.
    9. Rodney Ramcharan & Amir Kermani & Marco Di Maggio, 2015. "Monetary Policy Pass-Through: Household Consumption and Voluntary Deleveraging," 2015 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Kogler, Michael, 2015. "Rewarding Prudence: Risk Taking, Pecuniary Externalities and Optimal Bank Regulation," Economics Working Paper Series 1512, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

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