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Institutional Affiliations: Sciences Po and CEPR
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 2019||Monetary Easing, Leveraged Payouts and Lack of Investment|
with Viral V. Acharya: w26471
This paper studies a model in which a low monetary policy rate lowers the cost of capital for entrepreneurs, potentially spurring productive investment. Low interest rates, however, also induce entrepreneurs to lever up so as to increase payouts to equity. Whereas such leveraged payouts privately benefit entrepreneurs, they come at the social cost of reducing their incentives thereby lowering productivity and discouraging investment. If leverage is unregulated (for example, due to the presence of a shadow-banking system), then the optimal monetary policy seeks to contain such socially costly leveraged payouts by stimulating investment in response to adverse shocks only up to a level below the first-best. The optimal monetary policy may even consist of “leaning against the wind,” i.e., not ...