Implicit Guarantees and Risk Taking: Evidence from Money Market Funds

59 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2011

See all articles by Marcin T. Kacperczyk

Marcin T. Kacperczyk

Imperial College London - Accounting, Finance, and Macroeconomics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Philipp Schnabl

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2011

Abstract

A firm's termination generates bankruptcy costs. This may create incentives for a firm's owner to bail out a firm in bankruptcy and to curb the firm's risk taking outside bankruptcy. We analyze the role of such implicit guarantees in the context of financial institutions that sponsor money market mutual funds. Our identification strategy exploits a large, exogenous expansion in risk-taking opportunities of money market funds during the period of August 2007 to August 2008. We find that a fund's response to the expansion depends on its sponsor's ability to provide implicit guarantees: Funds sponsored by financial institutions with higher equity take on less risk than those sponsored by financial institutions with lower equity. Moreover, fund sponsors with higher equity are more likely to provide financial support to their funds during a market-wide run in September 2008. The difference in risk taking disappears once implicit guarantees by fund sponsors are replaced with an explicit government guarantee. Overall, our findings suggest that implicit guarantees may reduce, rather than increase, risk taking.

Suggested Citation

Kacperczyk, Marcin T. and Schnabl, Philipp, Implicit Guarantees and Risk Taking: Evidence from Money Market Funds (August 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17321. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1918651

Marcin T. Kacperczyk (Contact Author)

Imperial College London - Accounting, Finance, and Macroeconomics ( email )

South Kensington campus
London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Philipp Schnabl

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/pschnabl/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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