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This paper examines the sizable role of rehypothecation in the shadow banking system. Rehypothecation is the practice that allows collateral posted by, say, a hedge fund to its prime broker to be used again as collateral by that prime broker for its own funding. In the United Kingdom, such use of a customer's assets by a prime broker can be for an unlimited amount of the customer's assets while in the United States rehypothecation is capped. Incorporating estimates for rehypothecation (and the associated re-use of collateral) in the recent crisis indicates that the collapse in non-bank funding to banks was sizable.
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