NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Asset Fire Sales and Credit Easing

Andrei Shleifer, Robert W. Vishny

NBER Working Paper No. 15652
Issued in January 2010
NBER Program(s):   CF   EFG

In a January 2009 lecture on the financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke advocated a new Fed policy of credit easing, defined as a combination of lending to financial institutions, providing liquidity directly to key credit markets, and buying of long term securities. We show that Bernanke's analysis and recommendations can be naturally considered in a model of "unstable banking," which relies on two mechanisms: 1) fire sales reduce asset prices below fundamental values, and 2) financial institutions prefer speculation to new lending when markets are dislocated. We analyze credit easing and compare it to alternative government interventions during the crisis.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15652

Published: Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2010. "Asset Fire Sales and Credit Easing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 46-50, May.

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