Easy Money: the Inefficient Supply of Inside Liquidity (Updated October 2021)
In modern market economies, money supply depends more on liquid debt securities, such as deposits and commercial paper, created by financial intermediaries. However, the recent financial crisis has exposed the fragility of this source of liquidity. This paper outlines a model in which currency, safe liabilities, and risky liabilities all provide liquidity services. During normal times, intermediaries can fully satisfy the demand for liquidity, while during a crisis there is a large drop in the liquidity supply because of defaults from risky securities. Optimal policy aims to reduce these fluctuations in the supply of liquid assets by reducing the supply of risky securities. When studied individually, lump-sum taxes, liquidity, or equity requirements all restore efficiency. However, the optimal policy rates are sensitive to the model parameterization and, in the case of capital requirements, do not rule out the inefficient equilibrium.
Work in Progress
The Deposit Channel of Fiscal Policy
with X. Liu and G. Pan
Using a novel bank-specific state tax rate dataset in the United States, we explore how banks pass through their tax burdens to depositors in a quasi-experimental setting. Specifically, we examine the bank branch’s deposit rates near the borders of states that experienced tax changes. We find that a one percentage point increase in the tax rate generates a decrease in bank’s deposit rate by four to five basis points, but the change would not affect credit unions. After controlling for competition at the county level, we observe that the bank’s pass-through of tax burdens is stronger in counties where banks compete less. Using a simple model, we suggest tax-induced competition environment is the primary driver of the fiscal policy pass-through for banks. While local competition mitigates banks’ tax pass-through to depositors, raising tax would also erode local competition.