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Risktaking, Limited Liability, and the Competition of Bank Regulators

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  • Hans-Werner Sinn

Abstract

Limited liability and asymmetric information between an investment bank and its lenders provide an incentive for a bank to undercapitalize and finance overly risky business projects. To counter this market failure, national governments have imposed solvency constraints on banks. However, these constraints may not survive in systems competition, as systems competition is likely to suffer from the same type of information asymmetry that induced the private market failure and that brought in the government in the first place (Selection Principle). As national solvency regulation creates a positive international policy externality on foreign lenders of domestic banks, there will be an undersupply of such regulation. This may explain why Asian banks were undercapitalized and took excessive risks before the banking crisis emerged.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 59 (2002/2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 305-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(2002/200308)59:3_305:rllatc_2.0.tx_2-h

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  1. Blum, Jurg & Hellwig, Martin, 1995. "The macroeconomic implications of capital adequacy requirements for banks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 739-749, April.
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  9. Charles W. Calomiris & Andrew Powell, 2000. "Can Emerging Market Bank Regulators Establish Credible Discipline? The Case of Argentina, 1992-1999," NBER Working Papers 7715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "The selection principle and market failure in systems competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 19854, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. Bester,Helmut Hellwig,Martin, 1987. "Moral hazard and equilibrium credit rationing: An overview of the issues," Discussion Paper Serie A 125, University of Bonn, Germany.
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  17. Christian Gollier & Pierre-François Koehl & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1996. "Risk-Taking Behavior with Limited Liability and Risk Aversion," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-13, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  18. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis? Part II: The Policy Debate," NBER Working Papers 6834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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