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Unpublished Paper
Leveraged Liquidity: Bear Raids and Junk Loans in the New Credit Market
  • José Gabilondo, Florida International University

As instability in the credit market has spread from sub-prime mortgages into commercial sectors, demand grows for a cogent account of what has happened and why. To that end, I emphasize the role of market and funding liquidity dynamics in the current credit crunch. After introducing the major themes in terms accessible to a nonfinancial reader, I draw on economist Hyman Minsky’s work on financial instability to analyze the special liquidity dynamics of leverage cycles. In particular, I focus on market structure factors vexing financial market regulators: the rise of nonbank lenders, the growth of floating-rate debt; the dynamics of secondary and derivative markets for credit; and the attitude shifts that come with financial euphoria. I then zero in on the corporate version of sub-prime borrowing that many U.S. corporations used to finance the recent wave of mergers, acquisitions, and other types of “shareholder-friendly” transactions: leveraged loans. These are secured, sub-investment-grade, floating-rate loans priced off LIBOR. I conclude with recommendations for how regulatory and financial models can better reflect the new realities of the credit market.

  • Hyman Minsky,
  • leveraged loan,
  • Federal Reserve,
  • discount window,
  • sovereign wealth fund,
  • liquidity,
  • repurchase agreement
Publication Date
Citation Information
José Gabilondo. "Leveraged Liquidity: Bear Raids and Junk Loans in the New Credit Market" (2008)
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