Article | Review of Financial Studies | June 2014

Frictions in Shadow Banking: Evidence from the Lending Behavior of Money Market Funds

by Sergey Chernenko and Adi Sunderam


We document the consequences of money market fund risk taking during the European sovereign debt crisis. Using a novel data set of security-level holdings of prime money market funds, we show that funds with large exposures to risky Eurozone banks suffered significant outflows between June and August 2011. Due to credit market frictions, these outflows have significant spillover effects on other firms: non-European issuers that typically rely on these funds raised less financing in this period. The results are not driven by issuers' riskiness or exposure to Europe: for the same issuer, money market funds with greater exposure to Eurozone banks decrease their holdings more than other funds. We show that relationships are important in short-term credit markets so that these spillover effects cannot be seamlessly offset, even though issuers are large, highly rated firms. Our results illustrate that instabilities associated with money market funds persist despite recent changes to the regulations governing them.

Keywords: Investment Funds; Financial Crisis; Europe;


Chernenko, Sergey, and Adi Sunderam. "Frictions in Shadow Banking: Evidence from the Lending Behavior of Money Market Funds." Review of Financial Studies 27, no. 6 (June 2014): 1717–1750.