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Moral Hazard, Collateral and Liquidity

Subject

Finance

Publishing details

Authors / Editors

Acharya V V;Viswanathan S

Publication Year

2007

Abstract

We consider a moral hazard setup wherein leveraged firms have incentives to take on excessive risks and are thus rationed when they attempt to roll over debt. Firms can optimally pledge cash as collateral to reduce rationing, but in the process must liquidate some of their assets. Liquidated assets are purchased by non-rationed firms but their borrowing capacity is also limited by the risktaking moral hazard. The market-clearing price exhibits cash-in-the-market pricing and depends on the entire distribution of leverage (debt to be rolled over) in the economy. This distribution of leverage, and indeed its very form as roll-over debt, are derived as endogenous outcomes with each firm’s choice of leverage anticipating the difficulty for all firms in rolling over debt in future. The model provides a natural linkage between market liquidity and funding liquidity, shows that optimally designed collateral requirements have a stabilizing effect on prices, and illustrates the possible role of leverage in generating deep discounts in prices when adverse asset-quality shocks materialize in good times.

Keywords

leverage; risk-shifting; credit rationing; market liquidity; funding liquidity, fire sales,

Publication Research Centre

Institute of Finance and Accounting

Series Number

FIN 474

Series

IFA Working Paper

Available on ECCH

No


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