We build a model characterized by matching frictions in which firms establish (long-term) relationships with banks that are subject to balance sheet disruptions. Credit relationships with banks more exposed to the crisis suffer the most. However, this relationship-level effect overstates the true cost of the crisis since profitable firms (e.g., exporters after a devaluation) might find it optimal to switch lenders, reducing the negative impact on overall credit and activity. Using linked bank-firm and firm-level data we find evidence largely consistent with our theory.
Relationship Networks in Banking Around a Sovereign Default and Currency Crisis
23 Oct ’19
WP 19-43 - We study how banks’ exposure to a sovereign crisis gets transmitted onto the corporate sector. To do so we use data on the universe of banks and firms in Argentina during the crisis of 2001.