NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2012||Are Banks Passive Liquidity Backstops? Deposit Rates and Flows during the 2007-2009 Crisis|
with Viral V. Acharya: w17838
Can banks maintain their advantage as liquidity providers when they are heavily exposed to a financial crisis? The standard argument - that banks can - hinges on deposit inflows that are seeking a safe haven and provide banks with a natural hedge to fund drawn credit lines and other commitments. We shed new light on this issue by studying the behavior of bank deposit rates and inflows during the 2007-09 crisis. Our results indicate that the role of the banking system as a stabilizing liquidity insurer is not one of the passive recipient, but of an active seeker, of deposits. We find that banks facing a funding squeeze sought to attract deposits by offering higher rates. Banks offering higher rates were also those most exposed to liquidity demand shocks (as measured by their unused comm...