Lessons from the Russian Meltdown: The Economics of Soft Legal Constraints
AbstractOn 17 August 1998, Russia abandoned its exchange rate regime, defaulted on its domestic public debt and declared a moratorium on all private foreign liabilities, which was equivalent to an outright default. The depth and speed of the Russian meltdown shocked the international markets, and precipitated a period of serious financial instability. Important lessons on issues of bank supervision and international stability can be learned by understanding the roots of such a crisis. The visible reason of the crisis was an unsustainable fiscal deficit coupled with massive capital flight, but what were their underlying causes? We argue that the structure of individual incentives in a context of capture of state decisions by special interests, compounded by a ruble overvaluation driven by exceptional international support, helps to explain the build-up of non-payment, theft and capital flight that led to the crisis. We offer an explicit model of rational collective non-compliance, cash stripping and rational collective non-payment which led to the fiscal and banking crisis and, ultimately, to a complete meltdown. In our view, the banking sector was already insolvent prior to the crisis, and contributed directly and indirectly to it. We conclude with a radical policy proposal for a stable banking system for Russia, appropriate for its current capacity for legal and supervisory enforcement. It is based on a segmented, narrow banking sector, concentration in commercial banking and a cautious extension of deposit insurance. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal International Finance.
Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (Winter)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1367-0271
Other versions of this item:
- Enrico Perotti, 2001. "Lessons from the Russian Meltdown: The Economics of Soft Legal Constraints," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 379, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Berglof, Erik & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Soft Budget Constraints and Banking in Transition Economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 18-40, March.
- Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislaw Gelfer, 2000. "Law and Finance in Transition Economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 325-368, July.
- Dalia Marin & Monika Schnitzer, 1999.
"Disorganization and Financial Collapse,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
285, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislaw Gelfer, 2000. "Law and Finance in Transition Economies," CID Working Papers 49, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Enrico Perotti & Paolo Volpin, 2007. "Investor Protection and Entry," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-006/2, Tinbergen Institute.
- Franco Modigliani & Enrico Perotti, 2000. "Security Markets versus Bank Finance: Legal Enforcement and Investors' Protection," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 1(2), pages 81-96.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.