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Essays on Banking and Liquidity


The money supply composition has shifted towards liquid securities created by financial intermediaries. However, the recent financial crisis has highlighted the fragility of this source of liquidity.

Therefore, in the first chapter I create a model where currency, safe liabilities and risky liabilities all provide liquidity services. During normal times, intermediaries are able to fully satiate the demand for liquidity. This corresponds to a large drop in liquidity supply during a crisis because of the defaults from risky liabilities. Nevertheless, a welfare maximizing planner would like to reduce or eliminate these changes in the supply of liquid asset. Liquidity and capital requirements can restore efficiency, but they are sensitive to calibration and may be ineffective when analyzed individually.

In the second chapter, I document some recent trends in the financial industry. Bank holding companies have deleveraged their balance sheets, while increasing the amounts of issued deposits. These trends are particularly strong among the largest U.S. banks, while smaller ones have a balance sheet that resembles a textbook commercial bank. I then calibrate the model presented in the first chapter using bank level data. The calibrated equilibrium shows how the structure of the financial sector is unresponsive to changes in the monetary policy target rate.

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