Ana Babus

Washington University in St. Louis
One Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MS 63130

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Washington University in St. Louis

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020The Hidden Costs of Strategic Opacity
with Maryam Farboodi: w27471
We explore a model in which banks strategically hold interconnected and opaque portfolios, despite increasing the likelihood they are subject to financial crises. In our framework, banks choose their degree of exposure to other banks to influence how investors can use their information. In equilibrium banks choose portfolios which are neither fully opaque, nor fully transparent. However, their portfolios are excessively interconnected to obfuscate investor information. Banks can create a degree of opacity that decreases welfare, and makes bank crises more likely. Our model is suggestive about the implications of asset securitization, as well as government bailouts.
January 2019Markets for Financial Innovation
with Kinda Cheryl Hachem: w25477
Financial securities trade in a wide variety of market structures. This paper develops a theory in which both the market structure of trade and the payoffs of the claims being traded form endogenously. Financial intermediaries use the cash flows of an underlying asset to design securities for investors. The demand for securities arises as investors choose markets then trade using strategies represented by quantity-price schedules. We find that intermediaries create increasingly riskier securities when facing deeper markets in which investors trade more competitively. In turn, investors elicit safer securities when they choose to trade in thinner, more fragmented markets. These findings reveal a novel role for market fragmentation in the creation of safer securities. The model is also infor...
July 2010Financial Connections and Systemic Risk
with Franklin Allen, Elena Carletti: w16177
We develop a model where institutions form connections through swaps of projects in order to diversify their individual risk. These connections lead to two different network structures. In a clustered network groups of financial institutions hold identical portfolios and default together. In an unclustered network defaults are more dispersed. With long term finance welfare is the same in both networks. In contrast, when short term finance is used, the network structure matters. Upon the arrival of a signal about banks' future defaults, investors update their expectations of bank solvency. If their expectations are low, they do not roll over the debt and there is systemic risk in that all institutions are early liquidated. We compare investors' rollover decisions and welfare in the two net...
June 2010Financial Connections and Systemic Risk
with Franklin Allen, Elena Carletti
in Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk, Mark Carey, Anil Kashyap, Raghuram Rajan, and René Stulz, organizers
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