Sriya L. Anbil and Angela Vossmeyer | During financial crises, the lender of last resort (LOLR) uses lending facilities to inject critical funding into the banking sector. The facilities need to be designed in such a way that banks are not reluctant to seek assistance due to stigma and that banks with liquidity concerns are attracted rather than those prone to risk-taking and moral hazard incentives. We use an unexpected disclosure that introduced stigma at one of two similar LOLRs during the Great Depression to evaluate whether banks used LOLR assistance to improve their liquidity needs using a novel trivariate model with recursive endogeneity. We find evidence that banks that approached the facility with stigma were less liquid and reduced their position of safe assets in comparison with banks that approached the facility with no stigma. Thus, stigma forced the pool of LOLR borrowers to separate into different groups of banks that ex-post revealed their liquidity preferences. This finding sheds light on why and when banks approach their LOLR.

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