The Bear deal is a watershed in U.S. banking and finance because it marks the official recognition that new liquidity dynamics in our credit markets merit attention. Indeed, liquidity is the financial dimension of the hour. As the Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) emphasized about Bear, it was "a loss of liquidity-not inadequate capital-[that] caused Bear's demise." Liquidity "feeds fantasies that risk has evaporated. ... Just as inflation shaped psychologies a generation ago, liquidity determines our behavior in a world of short-term performance." Unfortunately, our understanding of liquidity has not kept pace with the credit market, hence much discussion of the issue is imprecise or incomplete. These liquidity dynamics are here to stay, so the sooner regulators and traders face up to them, the better. Luckily, financial academics and regulators concerned with liquidity are working on new conceptual tools, including this Article. To that end, I offer an analytic framework (accessible to the non financial reader) for understanding the liquidity dynamics of the new credit market that led to the Bear deal. The Article has four major parts: a liquidity analysis of the corporate leverage market (Part II), a theoretical framework for these dynamics (Part III), a case study that illustrates these dynamics (Part IV), and recommendations (Part V).
Jose M. Gabilondo,
Leveraged Liquidity: Bear Raids and Junk Loans in the New Credit Market
, 34 J. Corp. L. 447
Available at: http://ecollections.law.fiu.edu/faculty_publications/84