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Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk-taking

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  • DellAriccia, Giovanni
  • Laeven, Luc
  • Marquez, Robert

Abstract

The recent global financial crisis has ignited a debate on whether easy monetary conditions can lead to greater bank risk-taking. We study this issue in a model of leveraged financial intermediaries that endogenously choose the riskiness of their portfolios. When banks can adjust their capital structures, monetary easing unequivocally leads to greater leverage and higher risk. However, if the capital structure is fixed, the effect depends on the degree of leverage: following a policy rate cut, well capitalized banks increase risk, while highly levered banks decrease it. Further, the capitalization cutoff depends on the degree of bank competition. It is therefore expected to vary across countries and over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8199.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8199

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Keywords: banking; leverage; monetary policy; risk taking;

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  1. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1998. "Liquidity risk, liquidity creation and financial fragility: a theory of banking," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
  2. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Robert Marquez, 2010. "Risk and the Corporate Structure of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 1075-1096, 06.
  3. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2006. "Competition among regulators and credit market integration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 401-430, February.
  4. Chiesa, Gabriella, 2001. "Incentive-Based Lending Capacity, Competition and Regulation in Banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 28-53, January.
  5. Xavier Freixas & Antoine Martin & David Skeie, 2009. "Bank liquidity, interbank markets, and monetary policy," Staff Reports 371, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2005. "Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2575-2619, December.
  7. Yener Altunbas & Leonardo Gambacorta & David Marques-Ibanez, 2010. "Does monetary policy affect bank risk-taking?," BIS Working Papers 298, Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Mitchell Berlin & Loretta J. Mester, 1998. "Deposits and relationship lending," Working Papers 98-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "Illiquidity and Interest Rate Policy," NBER Working Papers 15197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jiminez, G. & Ongena, S. & Saurina, J., 2007. "Hazardous Times for Monetary Policy: What do Twenty-three Million Bank Loans Say about the Effects of Monetary Policy on Credit Risk?," Discussion Paper 2007-75, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Ioannidou, V. & Ongena, S. & Peydro, J.L., 2009. "Monetary Policy, Risk-Taking, and Pricing: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," Discussion Paper 2009-31 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Angela Maddaloni, 2011. "Bank Risk-taking, Securitization, Supervision, and Low Interest Rates: Evidence from the Euro-area and the U.S. Lending Standards," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2121-2165.
  13. Cordella, Tito & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2003. "Bank bailouts: moral hazard vs. value effect," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 300-330, October.
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