NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Financial Intermediary Capital

Adriano A. Rampini, S. Viswanathan

NBER Working Paper No. 23302
Issued in March 2017
NBER Program(s):Corporate Finance, Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Monetary Economics

We propose a dynamic theory of financial intermediaries that are better able to collateralize claims than households, that is, have a collateralization advantage. Intermediaries require capital as they can borrow against their loans only to the extent that households themselves can collateralize the assets backing these loans. The net worth of financial intermediaries and the corporate sector are both state variables affecting the spread between intermediated and direct finance and the dynamics of real economic activity, such as investment, and financing. The accumulation of net worth of intermediaries is slow relative to that of the corporate sector. The model is consistent with key stylized facts about macroeconomic downturns associated with a credit crunch, namely, their severity, their protractedness, and the fact that the severity of the credit crunch itself affects the severity and persistence of downturns. The model captures the tentative and halting nature of recoveries from crises.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23302

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