Surges and Instability: the Maturity Shortening Channel
75 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020 Last revised: 12 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 12, 2021
Capital inflow surges destabilize the economy through a maturity shortening mechanism. The underlying reason is that firms tend to make their debt redeemable on demand in order to accommodate the potential liquidity needs of global investors, which makes international borrowing endogenously fragile. Based on a theoretical model and empirical evidence at both firm level and macro level, our main findings are threefold. First, corporate debt maturity shortens substantially during surges, especially for firms with foreign bank relationships. Second, surges change the shape of the interest rate term structure and lead to a more flattened yield curve. Third, the probability of a crisis following surges with a flattened yield curve is significantly larger than following surges without one. Our work suggests that debt maturity is key to understanding the consequences of capital inflow bonanzas.
Keywords: apital inflow surges; corporate maturity structure; term structure; systemic financial crisis
JEL Classification: F32; F34; F38; F65; G32
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