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146 posts on "Banks"
May 21, 2024

The Changing Landscape of Corporate Credit

Photo: upward looking at tall glass skyscrapers that are corporate offices against a blue sky.

Firms’ access to credit is a crucial determinant of their investment, employment, and overall growth decisions. While we usually think of their ability to borrow as determined by aggregate credit conditions, in reality firms have a number of markets where they can borrow, and conditions can vary across those markets. In this post, we investigate how the composition of debt instruments on U.S. firms’ balance sheets has evolved over the last twenty years. 

April 15, 2024

Can I Speak to Your Supervisor? The Importance of Bank Supervision

Decorative image: man holding a magnifying glass to a red wooden businessman leading way

In March of 2023, the U.S. banking industry experienced a period of significant turmoil involving runs on several banks and heightened concerns about contagion. While many factors contributed to these events—including poor risk management, lapses in firm governance, outsized exposures to interest rate risk, and unrecognized vulnerabilities from interconnected depositor bases, the role of bank supervisors came under particular scrutiny. Questions were raised about why supervisors did not intervene more forcefully before problems arose. In response, supervisory agencies, including the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, commissioned reviews that examined how supervisors’ actions might have contributed to, or mitigated, the failures. The reviews highlighted the important role that bank supervisors can play in fostering a stable banking system. In this post, we draw on our recent paper providing a critical review and summary of the empirical and theoretical literature on bank supervision to highlight what that literature tells us about the impact of supervision on supervised banks, on the banking industry and on the broader economy.  

April 8, 2024

Internal Liquidity’s Value in a Financial Crisis

Decorative image of a drop of water hitting a pool of water with dollar bills under the water.

A classic question for U.S. financial firms is whether to organize themselves as entities that are affiliated with a bank-holding company (BHC). This affiliation brings benefits, such as access to liquidity from other affiliated entities, as well as costs, particularly a larger regulatory burden. This post highlights the results from a recent Staff Report that sheds light on this tradeoff. This work uses confidential data on the population of broker-dealers to study the benefits of being affiliated with a BHC, with a focus on the global financial crisis (GFC). The analysis reveals that affiliation with a BHC makes broker-dealers more resilient to the aggregate liquidity shocks that prevailed during the GFC. This results in these broker-dealers being more willing to hold riskier securities on their balance sheet relative to broker-dealers that are not affiliated with a BHC.

April 1, 2024

Learning by Bouncing: Overdraft Experience and Salience

Photo illustration: tennis ball bouncing with a dotted line showing the bounce on a blue background.

Overdraft credit, when banks and credit unions allow customers to spend more than their checking account holds, has many critics. One fundamental concern is whether overdrafts are salient—whether account holders know how often they overdraw and how much it costs them. To shed light on this question, we asked participants in the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations about their experience with and knowledge of their banks’ overdraft programs. The large majority knew how often they overdrew their account and by how much. Their overdraft experience, we find, begets knowledge; of respondents who overdrew their account in the previous year, 84 percent knew the fee they were charged, roughly twice the share for other respondents. However, even experienced overdrafters were relatively unaware of other overdraft terms and practices, such as the maximum overdraft allowed or whether their financial institution processed larger transactions first.

March 27, 2024

Deposits and the March 2023 Banking Crisis—A Retrospective

Photo: Man depositing check by phone while sitting at a table in a restaurant

In this post, we evaluate how deposits have evolved over the latter portion of the current monetary policy tightening cycle. We find that while deposit betas have continued to rise, they did not accelerate following the bank runs in March 2023. In addition, while overall deposit funding has remained stable, we find that the banks most affected by the March 2023 events are offering higher deposit rates and are growing their deposit funding relative to the broader banking industry.

Posted at 7:00 am in Banks | Permalink
January 10, 2024

An Overlooked Factor in Banks’ Lending to Minorities

Illustration: Economic Inequality - Credit Access: What affects lending disparities? gold background with ill of a bank building and four people of different races. arrows showing a circular motion between them.

In the second quarter of 2022, the homeownership rate for white households was 75 percent, compared to 45 percent for Black households and 48 percent for Hispanic households. One reason for these differences, virtually unchanged in the last few decades, is uneven access to credit. Studies have documented that minorities are more likely to be denied credit, pay higher rates, be charged higher fees, and face longer turnaround times compared to similar non-minority borrowers. In this post, which is based on a related Staff Report, we show that banks vary substantially in their lending to minorities, and we document an overlooked factor in this difference—the inequality aversion of banks’ stakeholders.

Posted at 7:00 am in Banks, Housing, Inequality | Permalink
December 21, 2023

Where Is R‑Star and the End of the Refi Boom: The Top 5 Posts of 2023

The Top 5 Posts of 2023 Graphic

The topics covered on Liberty Street Economics in 2023 hit many themes, reflecting the range of research interests of the more than sixty staff economists at the New York Fed and their coauthors. We published 122 posts this year, exploring important subjects such as equitable growth and the economic impacts of extreme weather, alongside our deep and long-standing coverage of topics like inflation, banking system vulnerability, international economics, and monetary policy effects. As we close out the year, we’re taking a look back at the top five posts. See you again in 2024.

Posted at 7:00 am in Banks, Household Finance, Treasury | Permalink
December 20, 2023

Does Trade Uncertainty Affect Bank Lending?

two cargo ships loaded with shipping containers on a calm sea.

The recent era of global trade expansion is over. Faced with increased geopolitical risk, fragile foreign supply chains, and uncertainties in the international trade environment, firms are postponing entry into foreign markets and pulling back from foreign activities (IMF 2023). Besides its direct effects on real activity, the recent rise in trade uncertainty has potentially important implications for the financial sector. This post describes how the lending activities of U.S. banks were affected by the rise in trade uncertainty during the 2018-19 “trade war.” In particular, banks that were more exposed to trade uncertainty contracted lending to all of their domestic nonfinancial business borrowers, regardless of whether these borrowers were facing high or low uncertainty themselves. Furthermore, banks’ lending strategies exhibited the type of “wait-and-see” behavior usually found in corporate firms facing investment decisions under uncertainty, and the lending contraction was larger for those banks that were more financially constrained.

Posted at 9:00 am in Banks, International Economics | Permalink
November 28, 2023

Bond Funds in the Aftermath of SVB’s Collapse

Decorative image: Bond market screen with rising yields and interest rates

March 2023 will rightfully be remembered as a period of major turmoil for the U.S. banking industry. In this post, we go beyond banks to analyze how fixed-income, open-end funds (bond funds) fared in the days after the start of the banking crisis. We find that bond funds experienced net outflows each day for almost three weeks after the run on Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), and that these outflows were experienced diffusely across the entire segment. Our preliminary evidence suggests that the outflows from bond funds may have been an unintended consequence of the exceptional measures taken to strengthen the balance sheet of banks during this time.

Posted at 7:00 am in Banks, Financial Markets | Permalink
November 27, 2023

The Nonbank Shadow of Banks

Decorative image: Aerial view of money transfer icon over cityscape

Financial and technological innovation and changes in the macroeconomic environment have led to the growth of nonbank financial institutions (NBFIs), and to the possible displacement of banks in the provision of traditional financial intermediation services (deposit taking, loan making, and facilitation of payments). In this post, we look at the joint evolution of banks—referred to as depository institutions from here on—and nonbanks inside the organizational structure of bank holding companies (BHCs). Using a unique database of the organizational structure of all BHCs ever in existence since the 1970s, we document the evolution of NBFI activities within BHCs. Our evidence suggests that there exist important conglomeration synergies to having both banks and NBFIs under the same organizational umbrella.

Posted at 7:00 am in Banks, Nonbank (NBFI) | Permalink
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Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

The editors are Michael Fleming, Andrew Haughwout, Thomas Klitgaard, and Asani Sarkar, all economists in the Bank’s Research Group.

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