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This thesis is a collection of three empirical essays on banking using Brazilian data. Chapter 1 provides evidence that cities ruled by a mayor from the presidential coalition s party receive significantly more credit from public federally owned banks. Using a unique longitudinal database that matches branch-level credit information with election outcomes over the period 1997-2008, I explore the within-municipality variation in political alignment to estimate the impact of alignment on the amount of credit. I find that public federal banks increase their lending 10 per cent more in aligned cities. In response, private banks contract credit, but the net effect is an increase in aggregate credit to aligned cities, raising the issue of a misallocation of capital across cities. I also use another unique and more comprehensive credit database, available only since 2004, and apply a regression discontinuity design in close electoral races to address possible identification concerns. In contrast with the received literature, I find that the results are not driven by earmarked lending, but by non-earmarked operations. Chapter 2 focuses the analysis on firms that donate to electoral campaigns in order to test for the hypothesis of favored lending as a reward mechanism for campaign giving. I combine data from firm level campaign contributions with credit information and explore within-firm variation in order to test whether donating to aligned parties results in a better access to credit from public federal banks. Results indicate that campaign contributors to aligned parties have a higher lending share from public federal banks and borrow 20 per cent more than firms that donate to nonaligned parties. In Chapter 3 I take advantage of the introduction of a voluntary deposit insurance program to address several important questions concerning bank runs, market liquidity and funding liquidity. I first document a depositors run on small and medium banks in Brazil after the worsening of the global financial crisis. Second, I find that the bank run was led mainly by institutional investors. Third, I show that, in response to the weakening position on the liability side, banks responded by liquidating their credit position on the asset side of the balance sheet. Fourth, I find evidence that the introduction of a new voluntary insurance instrument called DPGE (Time Deposits with Special Insurance) seemed to have helped stabilize banks positions. Under DPGE, Certificates of Deposit (CD) are insured up to 20 million reais, while standard non-DPGE other time deposits are secured up to 60 thousand reais. Fifth, I show that banks whose assets were more illiquid selected themselves into expensive DPGE (issuers have to pay monthly premium of more than six times the value charged on conventionally insured deposits). Thus, providing funding liquidity was more important for banks that were more affected by market liquidity (having less liquid assets). An investigation of the determinants of issuing DPGE shows that: 1) banks that relied more on credit assignments before the crisis are more likely to issue under the new insurance scheme; 2) banks with higher credit-to-assets ratios are also more likely to issue under the new scheme, although the results on credit-to-assets are a little less precise. These results are important for several reasons. First, they are the first empirical results to document the relationship between market and funding liquidity. In particular, self-selecting into DPGE allows us to see that banks with more illiquid assets need more funding liquidity in the midst of a crisis. Second, the fact of the voluntary nature of the program is interesting per se. By providing voluntary, albeit expensive, insurance, banks may self-select only when they have little option (because of asset-side market illiquidity). Although I do not perform a full welfare analysis, this suggests that mandatory insurance may be sub-optimal for two reasons. First, banks that do not need it may be paying excessive premiums. Second, mandatory insurance may induce more expost risk taking than otherwise needed if the moral hazard on insured deposits is empirically relevant.