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How Collateral Affects Small Business Lending: The Role of Lender Specialization

Draft Version:

I study the role of collateral on small business credit access in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. I construct a novel, loan-level dataset covering all collateralized small business lending in Texas from 2002-2016 and link it to the U.S. Census of Establishments. Using textual analysis, I quantify whether a lender is specialized in a borrower’s collateral by comparing the collateral pledged by the borrower to the lender’s collateral portfolio. I show that post-2008, lenders reduced credit supply by focusing on borrowers that pledged collateral in which the lender specialized. This result holds when comparing lending to the same borrower from different lenders, and when comparing lending by the same lender to different borrowers. A one standard deviation higher specialization in collateral increases lending to the same firm by 3.7%. Abstracting from general equilibrium effects, if firms switched to lenders with the highest specialization in their collateral, aggregate lending would increase by 14.8%. Furthermore, firms borrowing from lenders with greater specialization in the borrower’s collateral see a larger growth in employment after 2008. I identify the lender’s informational advantage in the posted collateral to be the mechanism driving lender specialization. Finally, I show that firms with collateral more frequently accepted by lenders in the economy find it easier to switch lenders. In sum, my paper shows that borrowing from specialized lenders increases access to credit and employment during a financial crisis.

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Nonbank Lending and Credit Cyclicality

Draft Version:

We document three facts about nonbank lending in the syndicated loan market. First, nonbank lending is more than twice as cyclical as bank lending. Second, declines in nonbank lending explain most of the declines in syndicated lending during the Great Recession and COVID-19 crisis. Third, cyclicality in nonbank lending is matched by cyclicality in nonbank funding flows. The higher nonbank cyclicality is not explained by either the health or monitoring ability of banks, nor by bank-borrower relationships. Instead, it appears to be driven by nonbank funding instability. We highlight frictions in CLOs and mutual funds that contribute to this instability.

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Coauthors: Quirin Fleckenstein, German Gutierrez, and Sebastian Hillenbrand

The Effects of COVID-19 on U.S. Small Businesses: Evidence from Owners, Managers, and Employees

Draft Version:

We analyze a large-scale survey of small business owners, managers, and employees in the United States to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on those businesses. We explore two waves of the survey that were fielded on Facebook in April 2020 and December 2020. We document five facts about the impact of the pandemic on small businesses. (1) Larger firms, older firms, and male-owned firms were more likely to remain open during the early stages of the pandemic, with many of these heterogeneities persisting through the end of 2020. (2) At businesses that remained open, concerns about demand shocks outweighed concerns about supply shocks, though the relative importance of supply shocks grew over time. (3) In response to the pandemic, almost a quarter of the firms reduced their prices, with price reductions concentrated among businesses facing financial constraints and demand shocks; almost no firms raised prices. (4) Only a quarter of small businesses had access to formal sources of financing at the start of the pandemic, and access to formal financing affected how firms responded to the pandemic. (5) Increased household responsibilities affected the ability of managers and employees to focus on their work, while increased business responsibilities impacted their ability to take care of their household members. This effect persisted through December 2020 and was particularly strong for women and parents of school-aged children. We discuss how these facts inform our understanding of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they can help design policy responses to similar shocks.

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Coauthors: Georgij Alekseev, Safaa Amer, Theresa Kuchler, JW Schneider, Johannes Stroebel, and Nils Wernerfelt

The Rise of Finance Companies and FinTech Lenders in Small Business Lending

Draft Version:

We document that finance companies and FinTech Lenders increased lending to small businesses after the 2008 financial crisis. We show that most of the increase substituted for a reduction in lending by banks. In counties where banks had a larger market share before the crisis, finance companies and FinTech lenders increased their lending more. By 2016, the increase in finance company and FinTech lending almost perfectly offset the decrease in bank lending. We control for firms’ credit demand by examining lending by different lenders to the same firm, by comparing firms within the same narrow industry, and by comparing firms pledging the same collateral. Consistent with the substitution of bank lending with finance company and FinTech lending, we find limited long-term effects on employment, wages, new business creation, and business expansion. Our results show that finance companies and FinTech lenders are major suppliers of credit to small businesses and played an important role in the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.

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Coauthors: Philipp Schnabl


Instructor, Corporate Finance

Undergraduate Level, NYU Stern,

  • Sole instructor for the undergraduate course in Corporate Finance.
  • Awarded Commendation for Teaching Excellence

Management of Financial Institutions

Undergraduate and MBA Level, Scheller College of Business, Spring 2021 -

  • The objective of this course is to introduce students to the role of bank and non-bank financial intermediaries and the management of their operations. The course will provide an introduction to the various kinds of financial institutions, discuss their operations, and highlight their differences from other forms of corporations. The focus of the course is to provide a detailed analysis of various techniques used to measure the unique risks faced by financial institutions. Special emphasis will be placed on the valuation of various fixed income securities which play a major role in the operation of the financial intermediaries. The course is structured into three parts: (a) introduction of various kinds of financial institutions, (b) measurement of various risks faced by these institutions, and (c) management and hedging of these risks.