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Liquidity Risk and Syndicate Structure

Authors

Abstract

We offer a new explanation of loan syndicate structure based on banks' comparative advantage in managing systematic liquidity risk. When a syndicated loan to a rated borrower has systematic liquidity risk, the fraction of passive participant lenders that are banks is about 8% higher than for loans without liquidity risk. In contrast, liquidity risk does not explain the share of banks as lead lenders. Using a new measure of ex-ante liquidity risk exposure, we find further evidence that syndicate participants specialize in liquidity-risk management while lead banks manage lending relationships. Links from transactions deposits to liquidity exposure are about 50% larger at participant banks than at lead arrangers.

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