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Safe and sound banking, 20 years later: what was proposed and what has been adopted

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Author Info

  • Fred Furlong
  • Simon Kwan

Abstract

In 1986, a task force of banking academics organized and sponsored by the American Bankers Association convened to examine the banking industry and the efficacy of its regulatory system. The group was charged with reviewing the problems of ensuring the safety and soundness of the banking system and evaluating a number of policy options to improve the efficiency, performance, and safety of the system by changing the structure of the deposit insurance system and the bank regulatory and supervisory process. The results of the work of the task force were published by the MIT Press as the book, Perspectives on Safe and Sound Banking (Benston et al., 1986, the Report), which includes a set of principal options and recommendations. The purpose of this article is to assess the extent to which changes in public policy regarding depository institutions have been aligned with the recommendations of the Report. We find that, over the past 20 years, several legislative initiatives and changes in regulations and the bank supervisory process have been in keeping with the specific recommendations of the Report or with the analytic framework underlying the recommendations. At the same time, other recommendations in the Report have not been taken up and some proposals rejected in the Report have been put in place by legislative and regulatory initiatives. Overall, public policy and private sector initiatives appear to have contributed to safer and sounder banking and thrift sectors over the past 20 years. Consistent with what we see as the main theme of the Report, a likely contributing factor is the more appropriate alignment of incentive for risk-taking among larger depository institutions. Developments affecting risk-taking by depository institutions likely include higher capitalizations, greater risk exposure of private sector stakeholders more generally, improvements in risk management, and supervision and regulation that is focused on overall risk.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006-27.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2006-27

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Keywords: Banks and banking ; Bank supervision;

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References

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  1. Douglas D. Evanoff & Larry D. Wall, 2000. "Subordinated debt as bank capital: a proposal for regulatory reform," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 40-53.
  2. Daniel M. Covitz & Diana Hancock & Myron L. Kwast, 2002. "Market discipline in banking reconsidered: the roles of deposit insurance reform, funding manager decisions and bond market liquidity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Mark J. Flannery & Kasturi P. Rangan, 2008. "What Caused the Bank Capital Build-up of the 1990s?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(2), pages 391-429.
  4. Frederick T. Furlong & Robard Williams, 2006. "Financial market signals and banking supervision: are current practices consistent with research findings?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 17-29.
  5. Stiroh, Kevin J. & Rumble, Adrienne, 2006. "The dark side of diversification: The case of US financial holding companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2131-2161, August.
  6. George J. Benston & George G. Kaufman, 1998. "Deposit insurance reform in the FDIC Improvement Act: the experience to date," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 2-20.
  7. Goyal, Vidhan K., 2005. "Market discipline of bank risk: Evidence from subordinated debt contracts," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 318-350, July.
  8. anonymous, 1999. "Using subordinated debt as an instrument of market discipline," Staff Studies 172, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. John S. Jordan & Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 1999. "Impact of greater bank disclosure amidst a banking crisis," Working Papers 99-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  10. Robert R. Bliss & Mark J. Flannery, 2000. "Market discipline in the governance of U.S. Bank Holding Companies: monitoring vs. influencing," Working Paper Series WP-00-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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Cited by:
  1. Helder Mendonça & Renato Villela Loures, 2009. "Market discipline in the Brazilian banking industry: an analysis for the subordinated debt holders," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 286-307, December.

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