Federal Reserve Regulation A imposes formal guidelines on borrowing from the discount window and ensures that the facility is used for appropriate purposes. In a way, this regulation imposes a nonprice mechanism that compels depository institutions to be more prudent in exercising their borrowing privileges. In the 1980s, however, banks became increasingly more reluctant to borrow adjustment credit from the discount window. This behavior is puzzling because discount window guidelines have not changed. This paper investigates the reasons behind the weakened demand for borrowed reserves. Our empirical findings suggest that the growing reluctance to borrow stems from the deteriorating financial position of banks during this period. In particular, banks avoided the discount window because they feared that market participants might have interpreted their visits as a signal of serious funding difficulties.

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