The Collateral Trap

Active wholesale financial markets help reallocate deposits across heterogeneous banks. Because of incentive problems, these flows are constrained and collateral is needed. Both the volume, the value, and the composition of collateral matter. We make a distinction between “outside collateral” and “inside collateral”. The use of inside assets, such as loans, creates a “collateral pyramid”, in that cash flows from one loan can be pledged to secure another. Through collateral pyramids the financial sector creates safe assets, but at the cost of exposing the economy to systemic panics. Outside collateral, such as treasuries, serves as foundation of, and stabilises, the pyramid. There is a threshold for the volume of treasuries, below which investors panic, the pyramid collapses, and there is not enough safe assets to support wholesale market activity; a situation that we call “collateral trap”. Read more

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About AIWMI

The Association of International Wealth Management of India (AIWMI) is a not-for-profit organization and a globally recognized membership association for finance professionals. AIWMI primarily focuses on the broad and strategic role of developing a more robust and forward-looking training infrastructure for the financial services sector and to promote more active industry involvement and collaboration in training and continuing education. AIWMI is offering advanced international certification programs along with a wide variety of high-quality executive education programs. AIWMI programs combine state-of-the-art knowledge and skills with practical experience and insights into the functioning of the financial sector. All AIWMI courses and educational events have an intense and pragmatic curriculum. Participants are exposed to the latest developments within the financial services sector. AIWMI plays a key role in guiding the development of the financial services sector. AIWMI works with key industry participants’ viz. the Government, the Regulators, the Industries/Associations, the Corporate, the Media and the General Public to achieve its objectives. Besides enhancing technical competence and professionalism in the industry, AIWMI organizes events and facilitates discussions to promote best practices in leadership and talent development in the financial sector with an aim to become Asia’s premier center of excellence for financial education.

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