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Financial Crises and Shadow Banks: A Quantitative Analysis

Matthias Rottner

Economics Working Papers from European University Institute

Abstract: Motivated by the build-up of shadow bank leverage prior to the Great Recession, I develop a nonlinear macroeconomic model that features excessive leverage accumulation and show how this can cause a bank run. Introducing risk-shifting incentives to account for fluctuations in shadow bank leverage, I use the model to illustrate that extensive leverage makes the shadow banking system runnable, thereby raising the vulnerability of the economy to future financial crises. The model is taken to U.S. data with the objective of estimating the probability of a run in the years preceding the financial crisis of 2007-2008. According to the model, the estimated risk of a bank run was already considerable in 2004 and kept increasing due to the upsurge in leverage. I show that levying a leverage tax on shadow banks would have substantially lowered the probability of a bank run. Finally, I present reduced-form evidence that supports the tight link between leverage and the possibility of financial crises.

Keywords: Financial crises; Shadow banks; Leverage; Credit booms; Bank runs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-cba, nep-dge, nep-fdg and nep-mac
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2021/02

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