John L. Collins
Chair in Finance
Carroll School of Management
324b Fulton Hall
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Using exogenous liquidity windfalls from oil and natural gas shale discoveries, we demonstrate that bank branch networks help integrate U.S. lending markets. Banks exposed to shale booms enjoy liquidity inflows, thereby increasing their capacity to originate and hold new loans. Exposed banks increase mortgage lending in non-boom counties, but only where they have branches and only for hard-to-securitize mortgages. Our findings suggest that contracting frictions limit the ability of arm’s length finance to integrate credit markets fully. Branch networks continue to play an important role in financial integration, despite the development of securitization markets.
After Lehman’s collapse, investors ran from risky money market funds. In 27 of them, outflows overwhelmed cash inflows, thus forcing asset sales. These funds sold their safest and most liquid holdings. Funds were thus left with riskier and longer maturity assets. Over the subsequent quarter, however, the hard-hit funds reduced risk more than other funds. In contrast, money funds hit by idiosyncratic liquidity shocks before Lehman did not alter portfolio risk. The result suggests that moral hazard concerns with the Treasury Guarantee of investor claims did not increase risk taking. Funds that benefitted most from the government bailout reduced risk.
The Great Recession illustrates the sensitivity of the economy to housing. This paper shows that financial integration, fostered by securitization and nationwide branching, amplified the positive effect of housing price shocks on the economy during the 1994-2006 period. We exploit variation in credit supply subsidies across local markets from government-sponsored enterprises to measure housing price changes unrelated to fundamentals. Using this instrument, we find that house price shocks spur economic growth. The effect is larger in localities more financially integrated, through both secondary loan market and bank branch networks. Financial integration thus raised the effect of collateral shocks on local economies, increasing economic volatility.
Initial yields on both AAA-rated and non-AAA rated mortgage-backed security (MBS) tranches sold by large issuers are higher than yields on similar tranches sold by small issuers during the market boom years of 2004-2006. Moreover, the prices of MBS sold by large issuers drop more than those sold by small issuers, and the differences are concentrated among tranches issued during 2004-2006. These patterns suggest that investors priced the risk that large issuers received more inflated ratings than small issuers, especially during booming periods.