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Optimal Bail Out Policy, Conditionality and Constructive Ambiguity

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  • X. Freixas

Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of the optimal behaviour of the Lender of Last Resort (LOLR) in its microeconomic role regarding individual financial institutions in distress. It has been argued that the LOLR should not intervene at the microeconomic level and let any defaulting institution face the market discipline, as it will be confronted with the consequences of the risks it has taken. By considering a simple cost benefit analysis we show that this position may lack a sufficient foundation. We establish that, instead, uder reasonable assumptions, the optimal policy has to be conditional on the amount of uninsured debt issued by the defaulting bank. Yet in equilibrium, because the rescue policy is costly, the LOLR will not rescue all the banks that fulfill the uninsured debt requirement condition, but will follow a mixed strategy. This we interpret as the confirmation of the "creative ambiguity" principle, perfectly in line with the central bankers claim that it is efficient for them to have discretion in lending to individual institutions. Alternatively, in other cases, when the social cost of a bank's bankruptcy is too high, it is optimal for the LOLR to bail out the insititution, and this gives support to the "too big to fail" policy.

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File URL: http://www.dnb.nl/binaries/sr049_tcm46-146827.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank in its series DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) with number 49.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dnb:staffs:49

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References

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  1. Mark J. Flannery, 1996. "Financial crises, payment system problems, and discount window lending," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 804-831.
  2. X. Freixas & B. Parigi & J-C. Rochet, 2000. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations and Liquidity Provision by theCentral Bank," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 47, Netherlands Central Bank.
  3. Michael D. Bordo, 1990. "The lender of last resort : alternative views and historical experience," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Jan, pages 18-29.
  4. Dirk Schoenmaker, 1992. "Institutional Separation between Supervisory and Monetary Agencies," FMG Special Papers sp52, Financial Markets Group.
  5. Paul Hoffman & Anthony M. Santomero, 1998. "Problem Bank Resolution: Evaluating the Options," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-05, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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Cited by:
  1. Acharya, Viral V & Yorulmazer, Tanju, 2005. "Cash-in-the-Market Pricing and Optimal Bank Bailout Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bems, Rudolfs & Jönsson, Kristian, 2002. "Financial Crisis in Emerging Markets and the Optimal Bailout Policy," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 520, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 31 Oct 2003.
  3. Julian Llorent, Maria del Carmen Melgar, Jose Antonio Ordaz, Flor María Guerrero, 2013. "Stress Tests and Liquidity Crisis in the Banking System," Equilibrium, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 8, pages 31-43.
  4. Breitenfellner, Bastian & Wagner, Niklas, 2010. "Government intervention in response to the subprime financial crisis: The good into the pot, the bad into the crop," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 289-297, September.
  5. Viral V. Acharya, 2003. "Is the International Convergence of Capital Adequacy Regulation Desirable?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2745-2782, December.
  6. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2005. "On bank disclosure and subordinated debt," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28650, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. David Mayes, 2011. "The future of financial markets: financial crisis avoidance," Empirica, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 77-101, February.
  8. Acharya, Viral V., 2009. "A theory of systemic risk and design of prudential bank regulation," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 224-255, September.
  9. Zeynep KARACOR & Korhan GOKMENOGLU, 2012. "Predictability Of Financial Crises: Testing K.R.L. Model In The Case Of Turkey," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 2, pages 5-16, June.
  10. Mundaca, Gabriela, 2008. "Monitoring, Liquidity and Financial Crises," MPRA Paper 20501, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Oct 2009.
  11. Andrew Kuritzkes & Til Schuermann & Scott Weiner, 2002. "Deposit Insurance and Risk Management of the U.S. Banking System: How Much? How Safe? Who Pays?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-02, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.

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