CFDP 2076

Global Collateral: How Financial Innovation Drives Capital Flows and Increases Financial Instability


Publication Date: February 2017

Pages: 55


We show that cross-border financial flows arise when countries differ in their abilities to use assets as collateral. Financial integration is a way of sharing scarce collateral. The ability of one country to leverage and tranche assets provides attractive financial contracts to investors in the other country, and general equilibrium effects on prices create opportunities for investors in the financially advanced country to invest abroad. Foreign demand for collateral and for collateral-backed financial promises increases the collateral value of domestic assets, and cheap foreign assets provide attractive returns to investors who do not demand collateral to issue promises. Gross global flows respond dynamically to fundamentals, exporting and amplifying financial volatility.


Collateral, Financial innovation, Asset prices, Capital flows, Securitized markets, Asset-backed securities, Global imbalances

JEL Classification Codes: D52, D53, E32, E44, F34, F36, G01, G11, G12

JEL Classification Codes: D52D53E32E44F34F36G01G11G12