By providing liquidity to credit line borrowers and depositors, banks are potentially exposed to simultaneous runs on their assets and liabilities. This risk became a reality when the European interbank market froze in the summer of 2007. This column discusses the risk of double-bank runs, liquidity risk management by banks and the implications for the regulation of the financial sector, in particular Basel III. In 2007, banks with a larger exposure to the interbank market suffered a spike in drawdowns on their outstanding credit lines to firms, and were effectively exposed to a ‘double-run’. Importantly, this fragility was mitigated by active pre-crisis liquidity risk management by banks.
Filippo Ippolito, José-Luis Peydró, Andrea Polo, Enrico Sette, 10 May 2016
Avinash Persaud, 14 April 2016
Since the breakup of Bretton Woods in the early 1970s, the housing market has been at the centre of the biggest banking crises across the world. This column considers the nexus between housing, banking, and the economy, and how these ties can be broken. It argues for two modest regulatory changes in banking and insurance. These would result in life insurers and pension funds providing mortgage finance, better insulating the economy and homeowners from the housing cycle.
Stefano Puddu, Andreas Wälchli, 12 December 2012
Did the Federal Reserve act as ‘lender of last resort’ during the worst of the crisis? This column contributes to the current debate on the appropriateness and effectiveness of non-standard measures that have been taken by the Fed. Quantitatively measuring the effect of the Term Auction Facility on participating banks’ liquidity risk, it seems that, because the Term Auction Facility programme provided banks with enough time to adjust exposures on their balance sheets, the Fed did act as ‘lender of last resort’.
Enrico Perotti, 25 October 2011
How should financial regulators address problems stemming from liquidity risk? This column argues that the liquidity coverage and net funding ratios proposed for Basel III are economically and politically impractical. It recommends using those ratios as long-term targets while imposing ‘prudential risk surcharges’ on deviations from the targets.
Viral Acharya, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Enrico Perotti, 14 September 2011
Liquidity risk – which was at the heart of the September 2008 financial meltdown and explains regulatory concerns about a Greek default today – remains an open issue in financial regulatory reform. This column presents a consensus view of several leading academics on what more needs to be done to close this regulatory gap.
Lasse Pedersen, 15 November 2008
What is liquidity? Why is it at the heart of the crisis? How can we fix it? This column explains it all in terms any trained economist can understand.