• Negative Nominal Interest Rates: History and Current Proposals
    • “It is demonstrated that ‘taxing money’ proposals have a long intellectual history and that instead of being the conjecture of a monetary crank, they are a serious policy proposal. In a second step the article points out that, besides the more popular debate on a Gesell tax as a means to remove the zero bound on nominal interest rates, there is a class of neoclassical search-models that advocates a negative tax on money as efficiency enhancing. This strand of the literature has so far been largely ignored by the policy debate on negative interest rates.”
  • Securitization in the 1920’s
    • “This paper quantifies the scale and scope of the commercial real estate mortgage bond market in the period surrounding the 1920s in an attempt to better understand the role of retail mortgage debt in early urban development. In particular, this paper quantifies the size of the market, identifies risk factors affecting the coupon yield spread over Treasuries and utilizes a unique data set to construct a commercial mortgage price index over the period 1926-1935.”
    • Interested in some further reading on securitization? I wrote an article on sub-prime plantation loans, and child-backed securities. Crazy stuff.
  • Lending to the Borrower from Hell
    • “What sustained borrowing without third-party enforcement, in the early days of sovereign lending? Philip II of Spain accumulated towering debts while stopping all payments to his lenders four times. How could the sovereign borrow much and default often? We argue that bankers’ ability to cut off Philip II’s access to smoothing services was key. A form of syndicated lending created cohesion among his Genoese bankers. As a result, lending moratoria were sustained through a ‘cheat the cheater’ mechanism. Our paper thus lends empirical support to a recent literature emphasizing the role of bankers’ incentives for continued sovereign borrowing.”

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