Endogenous Choice of Bank Liquidity: The Role of Fire Sales

68 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2009

See all articles by Viral V. Acharya

Viral V. Acharya

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

Hyun Song Shin

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Tanju Yorulmazer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)

Date Written: November 27, 2009

Abstract

Banks’ liquidity is a crucial determinant of the adversity of banking crises. In this paper, we consider the effect of fire sales and entry during crises on banks’ ex-ante choice of liquid asset holdings. We consider a setting with limited pledgeability of risky cash flows relative to safe ones and a differential expertise between banks and outsiders in employing banking assets. When a large number of banks fail, market for assets clears only at fire-sale prices and outsiders enter the market if prices fall sufficiently low. In such states, there is a private benefit of liquid holdings to banks from purchasing assets. There is also a social benefit since greater banking system liquidity reduces inefficiency from liquidation of assets to outsiders. When pledgeability of risky cash flows is high, for instance, in countries with well-developed capital markets, banks hold less liquidity than is socially optimal due to risk-shifting incentives; otherwise, banks may hold even more liquidity than is socially optimal to capitalise on fire sales. However, if there is a systemic cost associated with crises, for example, in the form of fiscal costs associated with provision of deposit insurance, then socially optimal liquidity may always be higher than the privately optimal one, and, in turn, regulation in the form of prudent liquidity requirements may be desirable. We provide some international evidence on banks’ liquid holdings that is consistent with model’s predictions.

Keywords: Crises, systemic risk, distress, limited pledgeability, lender of last resort

JEL Classification: G21, G28, G32, E58, D61

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Viral V. and Shin, Hyun Song and Yorulmazer, Tanju, Endogenous Choice of Bank Liquidity: The Role of Fire Sales (November 27, 2009). Bank of England Working Paper No. 376. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1517693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1517693

Viral V. Acharya

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/vacharya/public_html/~vacharya.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
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

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) ( email )

Centralbahnplatz 2
Basel, Basel-Stadt 4002
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.bis.org/author/hyun_song_shin.htm

Tanju Yorulmazer (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

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