On Reaching for Yield and the Coexistence of Bubbles and Negative Bubbles
52 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2015 Last revised: 16 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 13, 2016
We develop a model of financial intermediation characterized by an inside agency problem such that asset managers, when they have access to high enough liquidity, "reach for yield" by overinvesting in risky assets and concurrently underinvesting in safer or medium-risk assets. The managers follow a pecking order whereby their first preference is to invest in risky assets; their second preference is to hoard liquid assets so as to provide a buffer against runs; and their last preference is to invest in medium-risk assets. This reaching-for-yield behavior of managers is conducive to the formation of bubbles in the market for risky assets and concurrently "negative bubbles" in the market for medium-risk assets. We show that loose monetary policy by reducing the cost of liquidity shortfalls suffered by financial intermediaries induces further "reach for yield" and amplifies the magnitude of bubbles and negative bubbles.
The appendices for this paper are available at the following URL: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2619004.
Keywords: Bubbles, monetary policy, moral hazard, negative bubbles, reaching for yield
JEL Classification: D82, E32, E52, G21, G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation