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Title: Essays in banking and default
Author: Ari, Anil
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 0309
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis consists of three chapters. In the first chapter, titled "Aggregate Risk and Bank Risk-Taking", I propose a general equilibrium model in which strategic interactions between banks and depositors may lead to endogenous bank fragility and a drop in investment and output. With some opacity in bank balance sheets, depositors form expectations about bank risk-taking and demand a return on bank deposits according to their risk. This creates strategic complementarities and possibly multiple equilibria: in response to an increase in funding costs, banks may optimally choose to pursue risky portfolios that undermine their solvency prospects. In a bad equilibrium, bank lending is crowded out by risky asset purchases and weak economic fundamentals lead to a banking crisis. Policy interventions face a trade-o¤ between alleviating banks' funding conditions and strengthening their risk-taking incentives. Due to this trade-off, liquidity provision to banks may eliminate the good equilibrium when it is not targeted. Targeted interventions have the capacity to eliminate the bad equilibrium. The second chapter, titled "Gambling Traps", analyzes macroeconomic dynamics under this framework in a dynamic general equilibrium model. I show that self-fulfilling expectations about high bank risk-taking may lead to 'gambling traps' associated with slow recovery from crises. In a gambling trap, high bank funding costs hinder the accumulation of bank net worth, leading to a prolonged period of financial fragility and a persistent decline in economic activity. I bring this model to bear on the European sovereign debt crisis, in the course of which under-capitalized banks in default-risky countries experienced an increase in funding costs and raised their holdings of domestic government debt. The model is quantified using Portuguese data and accounts for macroeconomic dynamics in Portugal in 2010-2016. Finally, I show that subsidized loans to banks, similar to the European Central Bank's longer-term refinancing operations (LTRO) may perpetuate gambling traps. The third chapter, titled ''Shadow Banking and Market Discipline on Traditional Banks'', is joint work with Matthieu Darracq-Paries, Christo¤er Kok, and Dawid · Zochowski. In this chapter, we present a general equilibrium banking model in which shadow banking arises endogenously and undermines market discipline on traditional banks. We show that depositors' ability to re-optimize in response to crises imposes market discipline on traditional banks: these banks optimally commit to a safe portfolio strategy to prevent early withdrawals. With costly commitment, shadow banking emerges as an alternative banking strategy that combines high risk-taking with early liquidation in times of crisis. We bring the model to bear on the 2007-09 financial crisis in the United States, during which shadow banks experienced a sudden dry-up of funding and liquidated their assets. We derive an equilibrium in which the shadow banking sector expands to a size where its liquidation causes a fire-sale and exposes traditional banks to liquidity risk. Higher deposit rates in compensation for liquidity risk also weaken threats of early withdrawal and traditional banks pursue risky portfolios that may leave them in default. Financial stability is achieved with a tax on shadow bank profits or collateralized liquidity support to traditional banks.
Supervisor: Giannitsarou, Chryssi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Risk-taking ; Banking crises ; Bank regulation ; Financial constraints ; Shadow banking ; Financial crisis ; Market discipline ; Fire-sales ; Financial intermediation ; Sovereign debt crisis