Competitive equilibria in infinite-horizon collateralized economies with default penalties
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Araújo, Páscoa and Torres-Martinez (2002) have shown that, without imposing either debt constraints or transversality conditions, Ponzi schemes are ruled out in infinite horizon economies with default when collateral is the only mechanism that partially secures loans. Páscoa and Seghir (2008) subsequently show that Ponzi schemes may reappear if, additionally to the seizure of the collateral, there are sufficiently harsh default penalties assessed (directly in terms of utility) against the defaulters. They also claim that if default penalties are moderate then Ponzi schemes are ruled out and existence of a competitive equilibrium is ensured. The objective of this paper is two fold. First, contrary to what is claimed by Páscoa and Seghir (2008), we show that moderate default penalties do not always prevent agents to run a Ponzi scheme. Second, we provide an alternative condition on default penalties that is sufficient to rule out Ponzi schemes and ensure the existence of a competitive equilibrium.