Topic Archive: Financial Markets

More or less competitive banking?

Barcelona GSE Focus

Xavier Freixas and Kebin Ma reexamine the classical issue of the possible trade-offs between banking competition and financial stability by highlighting different types of risk and the role of leverage. By means of a simple model, they show that competition can affect portfolio risk, insolvency risk, liquidity risk, and systemic risk in different ways.

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Financial bubbles exist


In the economy we observe stock price booms and busts. How do these cycles come about, could there be a way of smoothing them and, in that case, should we? Klaus Adam, Johannes Beutel, and Albert Marcet show that a very simple model of stock prices can explain very well the stock price volatility found in the data assuming that investors do not understand perfectly well how prices are formed.

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Managing credit bubbles

Barcelona GSE research on by Alberto Martín and Jaume Ventura

There is a widespread view among macroeconomists that fluctuations in collateral are an important driver of credit booms and busts. This column distinguishes between ‘fundamental’ collateral – backed by expectations of future profits – and ‘bubbly’ collateral – backed by expectations of future credit. Markets are generically unable to provide the optimal amount of bubbly collateral, which creates a natural role for stabilisation policies. A lender of last resort with the ability to tax and subsidise credit can design a ‘leaning against the wind’ policy that replicates the ‘optimal’ bubble allocation.

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