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Bankruptcy Priority for Bank Deposits: A Contract Theoretic Explanation

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  • Birchler, Urs W

Abstract

Over the past decade several countries, including the US, have introduced or redesigned legislation that confers priority in bankruptcy upon all or some bank deposits. We argue that in the presence of contracting costs such rules can increase efficiency. We first show in a private information model that a borrower can reduce overall costs of finance by letting informationally heterogeneous lenders choose between junior and senior debt. In particular, we find that debt priorities reduce socially wasteful information gathering by investors. We then argue why, particularly in banking, legal standardization of debt priorities may be superior to bilateral private arrangements. Article published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies in its journal, The Review of Financial Studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 13 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 813-40

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:13:y:2000:i:3:p:813-40

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References

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  1. Kennickell, Arthur B & Kwast, Myron L & Starr-McCluer, Martha, 1996. "Households' Deposit Insurance Coverage: Evidence and Analysis of Potential Reforms," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 311-22, August.
  2. Repullo,R. & Suarez,J., 1995. "Monitoring,Liquidation,and Security Design," Papers 9520, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  3. Scott, James H, Jr, 1977. "Bankruptcy, Secured Debt, and Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-19, March.
  4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," NBER Working Papers 4886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fama, Eugene F., 1985. "What's different about banks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-39, January.
  6. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
  7. Stulz, ReneM. & Johnson, Herb, 1985. "An analysis of secured debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 501-521, December.
  8. Winton, Andrew, 1995. "Costly State Verification and Multiple Investors: The Role of Seniority," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(1), pages 91-123.
  9. Barclay, Michael J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1995. " The Priority Structure of Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 899-917, July.
  10. Diamond, Douglas W., 1993. "Seniority and maturity of debt contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 341-368, June.
  11. Calomiris, Charles W., 1999. "Building an incentive-compatible safety net," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1499-1519, October.
  12. Gorton, G. & Khan, J., 1992. "The Design of Bank Loan Contracts, Collateral, and Renegociation," RCER Working Papers 327, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. William P. Osterberg, 1996. "The impact of depositor preference laws," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q III, pages 2-11.
  14. Douglas D. Evanoff, 1992. "Preferred sources of market discipline: depositors vs. subordinated debt holders," Working Paper Series, Issues in Financial Regulation 92-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  15. Sussman, Oren, 1999. "Economic growth with standardized contracts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1797-1818, October.
  16. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "The prudential regulation of banks," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9539, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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Cited by:
  1. Charles M. Kahn & João A. C. Santos, 2001. "Allocating bank regulatory powers: lender of last resort, deposit insurance and supervision," BIS Working Papers 102, Bank for International Settlements.
  2. Hancock Diana & Urs W. Birchler, 2004. "What Does the Yield on Subordinated Bank Debt Measure?," Working Papers 2004-02, Swiss National Bank.
  3. Pagès, H. & Santos, J., 2002. "Optimal Supervisory Policies and Depositor-Preferences Laws," Working papers 91, Banque de France.
  4. Urs W. Birchler, 2000. "Are banks excessively monitored?," Working Papers 00.14, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  5. Marvin Goodfriend & Jeffrey M. Lacker, 1999. "Limited commitment and central bank lending," Working Paper 99-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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