Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Columbia Business School, Kravis 769

665 W 130th St New York, NY 10027

Olivier Darmouni

Associate Professor

Finance and Economics

Columbia Business School

I am on leave visiting Chicago Booth this academic year.

Research Interests

Credit markets, monetary policy, information economics


Bank Liquidity Provision Across the Firm Size Distribution

with Gabriel Chodorow Reich, Stephan Luck and Matthew Plosser

Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

We use supervisory loan-level data to document that small firms (SMEs) obtain shorter maturity credit lines than large firms; post more collateral; have higher utilization rates; and pay higher spreads. We rationalize these facts as the equilibrium outcome of a trade-off between lender commitment and discretion. Using the COVID recession, we test the prediction that SMEs are subject to greater lender discretion. Consistent with this hypothesis, SMEs did not drawdown in contrast to large firms, even in response to similar demand shocks. PPP recipients reduced non-PPP loan balances, indicating the program bolstered their liquidity and alleviated the shortfall.

Learning about Competitors: Evidence from SME Lending

with Andrew Sutherland

Review of Financial Studies, 2021

We study how SME lenders react to information about their competitors' contracting decisions. To isolate this learning from lenders' common reaction to unobserved shocks to fundamentals, we exploit the staggered entry of lenders into an information sharing platform. Upon entering, lenders adjust their contract terms toward what others offer. This reaction is mediated by the distribution of market shares: lenders with higher shares or operating in concentrated markets react less. Thus, contract terms are shaped not only by borrower or lender fundamentals, but also by the interaction between information availability and competition.

Informational Frictions and the Credit Crunch

Journal of Finance, 2020

2020 JF Brattle Prize for Distinguished Paper

This paper estimates the magnitude of an informational friction limiting credit reallocation to firms during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Because lenders rely on private information when deciding which relationship to end, borrowers looking for a new lender are adversely selected. I show how to identify private information separately from information common to all lenders but unobservable to the econometrician by using bank shocks within a discrete choice model of relationships. Quantitatively, these informational frictions seem too small to explain the credit crunch in the U.S. syndicated corporate loan market.

The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Bank Lending Behavior

with Alexander Rodnyansky

Review of Financial Studies, 2017

Banks’ exposure to large-scale asset purchases, as measured by the relative prevalence of mortgage-backed securities on their books, affects lending following unconventional monetary policy shocks. Using a difference-in-differences identification strategy, this paper finds strong effects of the first and third round of quantitative easing (QE1 and QE3) on credit. Highly affected commercial banks increase lending by 3% relative to their counterparts. QE2 had no significant impact, consistent with its exclusive focus on Treasuries sparsely held by banks. Overall, banks respond heterogeneously and the type of asset being targeted is central to QE.

Working Papers

Bond Market Stimulus: Firm-Level Evidence from 2020-21

with Kerry Siani

Using micro-data on corporate balance sheets, we study firm behavior after the unprecedented policy support to corporate bond markets in 2020. As bond yields fell, firms issued bonds to accumulate large and persistent amounts of liquid assets instead of investing. Conceptually, the benefits depend on how highly bond issuers valued this liquidity at the margin. We show they generally had access to bank liquidity that they chose not to use: many issuers left their credit lines untouched, while others used bonds to repay existing loans. Moreover, equity payouts remained high: almost half of issuers still repurchased shares in Spring 2020.

Formally titled: Crowding-Out Bank Loans: Liquidity-Driven Bond Issuance

The Bond Lending Channel of Monetary Policy

with Oliver Giesecke and Alexander Rodnyansky

Corporate bond markets are a growing source of funding for companies throughout the world. How does a firm's debt structure affect the transmission of monetary policy? This paper sheds light on a new corporate finance mechanism in which monetary policy disproportionately impacts market-financed firms as bonds have higher downside risks relative to bank loans. We present high-frequency evidence consistent with this channel in the euro area: firms with more bonds are more affected by surprise monetary actions than their counterparts. This finding stands in contrast to a standard bank lending channel and suggests a key role for bond markets in monetary transmission.

The Rise of Bond Financing in Europe

with Melina Papoutsi. New version coming soon.

Using large panel data of public and private firms, this paper dissects the growth of bond financing in the Euro Area through the lens of the cross-section of issuers. In recent years, the composition of bond issuers has shifted, with the entry of many smaller and riskier issuers. New issuers invest and grow, instead of simply repaying bank loans. Moreover, holdings of `buy-and-hold' bond investors are large in aggregate but small for weaker issuers. Nevertheless, the bond investors' sell-off after March 2020 was largely directed at bonds of larger, safer issuers. This micro-evidence can shed light on the implications of corporate bonds market development for smaller firms and financial stability.

The Savings of Corporate Giants

with Lira Mota. Data available here

We construct a novel panel dataset to provide new evidence on how the largest nonfinancial firms manage their financial assets. Our granular data shows that, over the past decade, bond portfolios have grown to be at least as large as cash-like instruments, driven by the meteoric rise of corporate bond holdings. To shed light on the drivers of this growth, we conduct a pair of event studies around the 2017 tax reform and the 2020 liquidity crisis. Our new data suggests that the financial portfolios of corporate giants are primarily driven by cross-border tax incentives rather than liquidity motives.

Pulp Friction: The Value of Quantity Contracts in Decentralized Markets

with Simon Essig Aberg and Juha Tolvanen

Other publications

Corporate Bond Issuance and Bank Lending in the United States (with Kerry Siani), European Economy: Banks, Regulation, and the Real Sector - Banking and Covid, 2021

Horizon Effects and Adverse Selection in Health Insurance Markets (with Dan Zeltzer) Canadian Journal of Economics, forthcoming