Alexander Bechtel

New Podcast on Digital Currencies

I am launching a new podcast called Bitcoin, Fiat & Rock’n’Roll. It is a weekly show on topics surrounding digital currencies and fintech in the payment space. It is not a podcast on cryptocurrencies only, although Bitcoin and Co will play an important role. Instead, I want to approach the topic of digital currencies more broadly and discuss it from the perspective of a monetary economist.

The podcast is currently only available in German.

You can find the podcast on all major platforms, such as iTunes, Google, Spotify, Deezer, Stitcher, Castbox, Podigee, and Blubbry.

I highly appreciate any feedback, ratings, and subscriptions. I will mainly use my German Twitter account to post updates on the podcast; so, make sure to follow me @alex_bechtel_de.

Best,

Alex

New working paper: Liquidity Risk and Funding Cost

I am happy to share with you our new working paper “Liquidity Risk and Funding Cost”, available at https://ssrn.com/abstract=3391129.

The paper is joint work with Angelo Ranaldo and Jan Wrampelmeyer. We propose and test a new channel that outlines how funding liquidity risk affects interest rates in short-term funding markets – the funding liquidity risk channel. Unlike existing theories on interest rate spreads, the funding liquidity risk channel does not work through premiums demanded by lenders. In extant literature, interest rate or yield spreads are usually attributed to premiums required by lenders as compensation for default risk and market illiquidity. If borrowers are more likely to default or if markets are illiquid, lenders demand higher rates of return. In the funding liquidity risk channel, we turn this rationale upside down. Exploiting the unique market design of the euro interbank market, we show that borrowers themselves are willing to pay higher rates to lock in their funding if they are exposed to liquidity shocks.

The borrower markup is essential for understanding yield spreads in fixed-income markets. We show that banks differ systematically in their liquidity risk, which leads to systematic differences in their funding cost (see figure). 

The figure presents for each borrower the average daily repo rate paid in excess of the volume-weighted market average rate. In other words, it shows the average additional borrowing costs paid by each bank compared to the market average. Banks on the x-axis are ordered according to their performance. The filled black circles denote statistical signi cance at the 5% level. One outlier at 8.4 basis points is omitted.


Our results have important implications for policymakers, (central) banks, and academia. Interpreting interest rate spreads without considering funding liquidity can be misleading. In addition, heterogeneity in short-term funding rates can undermine the efficient allocation of liquidity and the pass-through of monetary policy.

I am looking forward to presenting the paper at this year’s EFA Meeting in Carcavelos, Portugal.