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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1354516
 
 

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A Theory of Slow-Moving Capital and Contagion


Viral V. Acharya


New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Hyun Song Shin


Princeton University - Department of Economics

Tanju Yorulmazer


Federal Reserve Bank of New York

February 2009

NYU Working Paper No. FIN-08-029

Abstract:     
Fire sales that occur during crises beg the question of why sufficient outside capital does not move in quickly to take advantage of fire sales, or in other words, why outside capital is so slow-moving. We propose an answer to this puzzle in the context of an equilibrium model of capital allocation. Keeping capital in liquid form in anticipation of possible fire sales entails costs in terms of foregone profitable investments. Set against this, those same profitable investments are rendered illiquid in future due to agency problems embedded with expertise. We show that a robust consequence of this trade-off between making investments today and waiting for arbitrage opportunities in future is the combination of occasional fire sales and limited stand-by capital that moves in only if fire-sale discounts are sufficiently deep. An extension of our model to several types of investments gives rise to a novel channel for contagion where sufficiently adverse shocks to one type can induce fire sales in other types that are fundamentally unrelated, provided arbitrage activity in these investments is sourced from a common pool of capital.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

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Date posted: March 9, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Viral V. and Shin, Hyun Song and Yorulmazer, Tanju, A Theory of Slow-Moving Capital and Contagion (February 2009). NYU Working Paper No. FIN-08-029. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1354516

Contact Information

Viral V. Acharya (Contact Author)
New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States
HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/vacharya/public_html/~vacharya.htm
Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) ( email )
Level 7, UNSW CBD Campus
1 O'Connell Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance
Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
Hyun Song Shin
Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Tanju Yorulmazer
Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )
33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.ny.frb.org/research/economists/yorulmazer/index.html
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References:  27
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