DP8705 A Model of Liquidity Hoarding and Term Premia in Inter-Bank Markets

Author(s): Viral V. Acharya, David Skeie
Publication Date: December 2011
Keyword(s): bank liquidity, bank loans, debt, financial leverage, interbank market, risk management
JEL(s): E43, G01, G21
Programme Areas: Financial Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8705

Financial crises are associated with reduced volumes and extreme levels of rates for term inter-bank transactions, such as in one-month and three-month LIBOR markets. We provide an explanation of such stress in term lending by modelling leveraged banks? precautionary demand for liquidity. When adverse asset shocks materialize, a bank?s ability to roll over debt is impaired because of agency problems associated with high leverage. In turn, a bank?s propensity to hoard liquidity is increasing, or conversely its willingness to provide term lending is decreasing, in its rollover risk over the term of the loan. High levels of short-term leverage and illiquidity of assets can thus lead to low volumes and high rates for term borrowing, even for banks with profitable lending opportunities. In extremis, there can be a complete freeze in inter-bank markets.