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The lender of last resort: liquidity provision versus the possibility of bail-out

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  • Eijffinger, Sylvester C. W.
  • Nijskens, Rob

Abstract

Banking regulation has proven to be inadequate to guard systemic stability in the recent financial crisis. Central banks have provided liquidity and ministries of finance have set up rescue programmes to restore confidence and stability. Using a model of a systemic bank suffering from liquidity shocks, we find that the unregulated bank keeps too much liquidity and takes excessive risk compared to the social optimum. A Lender of Last Resort can alleviate the liquidity problem, but induces moral hazard. Therefore, we introduce a fiscal authority that is able to bail out the bank by injecting capital. This authority faces a trade-off: when it imposes strict bailout conditions, investment increases but moral hazard ensues. Milder bailout conditions reduce excessive risk taking at the expense of investment. This resembles the current situation on financial markets, in which banks take less risk but also provide less credit to the economy.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7674.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7674

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Keywords: Bailout; Bank Regulation; Capital; Lender of Last Resort; Liquidity;

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  1. Wagner, Wolf, 2007. "The liquidity of bank assets and banking stability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 121-139, January.
  2. Kahn, Charles M. & Santos, Joao A.C., 2005. "Allocating bank regulatory powers: Lender of last resort, deposit insurance and supervision," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2107-2136, November.
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  13. Repullo, Rafael, 2000. "Who Should Act as Lender of Last Resort? An Incomplete Contracts Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 580-605, August.
  14. Xavier Freixas & Bruno M. Parigi & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2000. "Systemic risk, interbank relations, and liquidity provision by the central bank," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 611-640.
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  17. Nijskens, Rob & Wagner, Wolf, 2011. "Credit risk transfer activities and systemic risk: How banks became less risky individually but posed greater risks to the financial system at the same time," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1391-1398, June.
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