Toomas Laarits

Stern School of Business
New York University
44 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
Tel: 8579281743

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: New York University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 20191930: First Modern Crisis
with Gary Gorton, Tyler Muir: w25452
Modern financial crises are difficult to explain because they do not always involve bank runs, or the bank runs occur late. For this reason, the first year of the Great Depression, 1930, has remained a puzzle. Industrial production dropped by 20.8 percent despite no nationwide bank run. Using cross-sectional variation in external finance dependence, we demonstrate that banks' decision to not use the discount window and instead cut back lending and invest in safe assets can account for the majority of this decline. In effect, the banks ran on themselves before the crisis became evident.
July 2018The Run on Repo and the Fed's Response
with Gary Gorton, Andrew Metrick: w24866
The Financial Crisis began and accelerated in short-term money markets. One such market is the multi-trillion dollar sale-and-repurchase (“repo”) market, where prices show strong reactions during the crisis. The academic literature and policy community remain unsettled about the role of repo runs, because detailed data on repo quantities is not available. We provide quantity evidence of the run on repo through an examination of the collateral brought to emergency liquidity facilities of the Federal Reserve. We show that the magnitude of repo discounts (“haircuts”) on specific collateral is related to the likelihood of that collateral being brought to Fed facilities.
February 2018Collateral Damage
with Gary B. Gorton: w24298
A financial crisis is an event in which the holders of short-term debt come to question the collateral backing that debt. So, the resiliency of the financial system depends on the quality of that collateral. We show that there is a shortage of high-quality collateral by examining the convenience yield on short-term debt, which summarizes the supply and demand for short-term safe debt, taking into account the availability of high-quality collateral. We then show how the private sector has responded by issuing more (unsecured) commercial paper at shorter maturities. The results suggest that there is a shortage of safe debt now compared to the pre-crisis period, implying that the seeds for a new shadow banking system to grow exist.
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