The Cleansing Effect of Banking Crises
We assess the cleansing effects of the 2008–2009 financial crisis. U.S. regions with higher levels of supervisory forbearance on distressed banks see less restructuring in the real sector: fewer establishments, firms, and jobs are lost when more distressed banks remain in business. In these regions, the banking sector has been less healthy for several years after the crisis. Regions with less forbearance experience higher productivity growth after the crisis with more firm entries, job creation, and employment, wages, patents, and output growth. Forbearance is greater for state-chartered banks and in regions with weaker banking competition and more independent banks.
Public Bank Guarantees and Allocative Efficiency
Journal of Monetary Economics,
A natural experiment and matched bank/firm data are used to identify the effects of bank guarantees on allocative efficiency. We find that with guarantees in place unproductive firms receive larger loans, invest more, and maintain higher rates of sales and wage growth. Moreover, firms produce less productively. Firms also survive longer in banks’ portfolios and those that enter guaranteed banks’ portfolios are less profitable and productive. Finally, we observe fewer economy-wide firm exits and bankruptcy filings in the presence of guarantees. Overall, the results are consistent with the idea that guaranteed banks keep unproductive firms in business for too long.
Role of the Community Reinvestment Act in Mortgage Supply and the U.S. Housing Boom
Review of Financial Studies,
This paper studies the role of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in the U.S. housing boom-bust cycle. I find that enhanced CRA enforcement in 1998 increased the growth rate of mortgage lending by CRA-regulated banks to CRA-eligible census tracts. I show that during the boom period house price growth was higher in the eligible census tracts because of the shift in mortgage supply of regulated banks. Consequently, these census tracts experienced a worse housing bust. I find that CRA-induced mortgages were awarded to borrowers with lower FICO scores and were more frequently delinquent.