Economics of Financial Structure/Banking

Agency theory: how asymmetric information
affects economic behavior
Asymmetric Information in Finance
 Financial Structure
• Adverse selection: Before a transaction
Lemons Problem
• Moral hazard: After the transaction
– Principal – Agent Problem
– Debtor & Risk
– Conflicts of Interest
TBTF: No Bank Left Behind
The Mantra:
...A healthy, vibrant economy requires a financial system
that moves funds from people who save to people who
have productive investment opportunities…
The Trouble With Lending:
• Worst risks line up first
• Borrowers won’t do what they “promised”
The Trouble With Buying a Share:
• If it’s such a good deal, why offer it to me?
• Management might ripoff, not share with shareholders
So how can a financial system “move funds” from
savers to entrepreneurs?
Financing business: Eight Facts
Stocks are not most important source of external financing
Issuing marketable securities (debt and equity) not the main
way businesses finance operations
Indirect finance is much more important than direct finance
Financial intermediaries  the most important source of
external funds
The financial system is (supposed to be) heavily regulated
Only large, well-established corporations have (had) easy
access to securities markets to finance their activities
 need reputation and net worth
Debt contracts: trust … but collateral
Debt contracts: trust … but restrictive covenants
Why Intermediaries? … Transaction Costs
– Economies of scale
– Expertise: information specialists to handle adverse
selection and moral hazard problems
• What went wrong? … Perverse
Asymmetric Information Problems
•Adverse selection before a transaction
“Lemons problem”
•Moral hazard after the transaction
•Debt & risky behavior…insurance & risky behavior
•Managers and principal - agent problem
•Conflicts of interest
Countering Adverse Selection
Private production and sale of information...but there are problems
– Free-rider problem
– Perverse incentives: who pays Moody’s?
Gov’t regulation to increase information...but there are problems
– Regulatory capture…the revolving door
Financial intermediation: information specialists?!?
• Collateral and net worth…skin in the game
» Romney on regulation & Dodd-Frank
Countering Moral Hazard: Principal – Agent Problem
Align manager incentives with owners’
• Stock/stock options/bonuses/bonus claw-backs
Monitor  venture capital firms
Avoid ownership  debt not equity
Moral Hazard in Debt Markets
• Borrowers have incentives to take on risk
– Heads they win/Tails you lose
Countering Moral Hazard in Debt Contracts
• Net worth and collateral…skin in the game
Incentive compatible…loss is borrower’s, not lenders
• Enforce Restrictive Covenants
Keep collateral valuable/Provide information
But there are costs...
• Cost of credit intermediation/state verification
» Did borrower really lose...or is he ripping off?
• When economy tanks, don’t bother to lend
 credit crunch
Incentives leading to the subprime-triggered crisis
• The Players
– Homebuyer…live free…or default
– Appraiser…fee
– Mortgage broker…commission
• Originate and sell
– Securitizer: Investment banks/commercial banks
• Fees, bonuses
• Moving, not storage
– Ratings agency…fee
– “Investors”/GSEs…return
• Government role
– Regulation/supervision
– Deposit insurance
– Lender of last resort
• TBTF…Too Interconnected to Fail
Denizens of the Pre-Crisis Financial System
Depository institutions
Federal loan programs (SBA,FHA)
GovtSponsoredEnterprises (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHLB)
Insurance Companies
Pension Funds
Diversified Broker-Dealers (Investment Bank Holding Cos.)
Mortgage Insurers
Monoline Insurers
Shadow Banks (Standalone and captive finance cos., conduits—
single-seller, multi-seller, hybrid, repo, security arbitrage
conduits—StructuredInvestmentVehicles, Limited Purpose
Finance Cos., Credit Hedge Funds)
• Money Market Intermediaries (MMMFs, overnight sweeps, cash
“plus” funds, enhanced cash funds, ultra-short bond funds, local
gov’t investment pools, securities lenders)
• European banks
The Shadow Banking System: A Daisy Chain
From origination to wholesale funding
1. Loan origination: Finance cos. funded by CommercialPaper
2. Loan warehousing: Conduits funded by
AssetBackedCommercialPaper (the loans are the assets)
3. Pooling and structuring loans into AssetBackedSecurities:
Broker-dealer ABS syndicate desks
4. ABS warehousing: Trading books funded by repos
5. Pooling ABS into CollaterizedDebtObligations: Broker-dealer
syndicate desks
6. ABS intermediation: LimitedPurposeFinanceCos., Structured
InvestmentVehicles, etc., funded by ABCP, bonds, notes
7. Wholesale funding of all of the above by MoneyMarketMutual
Funds, money market investors. Also fixed income mutual
funds, pension funds, and insurance cos. fund shadow banks
by investing in their MediumTermNotes
Economies of Scope and Conflicts of Interest
• Underwriting and Research in (what was) Investment Banking
– Investment bank research used to underwrite securities
serves sellers and buyers of the securities at same time
…do not make negative or controversial comments about clients
• Jack Klugman/Citi dotcom research/pre-school recommendations
– Spinning: investment bank can allocate hot, underpriced,
IPOs to executives of other companies in return for their
companies’ future business
• Auditing and Consulting in Accounting Firms  INCEST
– Auditors may skew opinions to get consulting business
– May audit information systems or tax and financial plans put
in place by their consulting counterparts
– May provide an overly favorable audit to retain business
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002: SEC Oversight/CPA independence
Audit committee independence/CEO-CFO signoff/…
Global Legal Settlement of 2002: Separate research & underwriting
Chapter 8 Questions
• Would the lemons problem be more severe for stocks traded on
the New York Stock Exchange, where only large-cap(italization)
companies are listed, or stocks traded over-the-counter?
– Hint: Bernie Madoff once headed NASDAQ
• Which firms are most likely to use bank financing rather than
issue bonds or stocks to finance their activities? Why?
• How does the free-rider problem aggravate adverse selection
and moral hazard problems in financial markets?
• Why can the provision of several types of financial services by
one firm lead to lower costs of information production?
• Why can the provision of several types of financial services by
one firm lead to conflicts of interest?