As outlined by these characteristics, the test of whether liquid assets are of “high quality” is that, by way of sale or repo, their liquidity-generating capacity is assumed to remain intact even in periods of severe idiosyncratic and market stress. Lower quality assets typically fail to meet that test. An attempt by a bank to raise liquidity from lower quality assets under conditions of severe market stress would entail acceptance of a large fire-sale discount or haircut to compensate for high market risk. That may not only erode the market’s confidence in the bank, but would also generate mark-to-market losses for banks holding similar instruments and add to the pressure on their liquidity position, thus encouraging further fire sales and declines in prices and market liquidity. In these circumstances, private market liquidity for such instruments is likely to disappear quickly.