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Optimal bail out policy, conditionality and constructive ambiguity

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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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 400.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:400

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Banks; bail-out; Lender of Last Resort; constructive ambiguity;

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  1. Xavier Freixas & Bruno Parigi & Jean Charles Rochet, 1998. "Systemic risk, interbank relations and liquidity provision by the Central Bank," Economics Working Papers 440, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 1999.
  2. 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.
  3. Flannery, Mark J, 1996. "Financial Crises, Payment System Problems, and Discount Window Lending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 804-24, November.
  4. Dirk Schoenmaker, 1992. "Institutional Separation between Supervisory and Monetary Agencies," FMG Special Papers sp52, Financial Markets Group.
  5. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. David Mayes, 2011. "The future of financial markets: financial crisis avoidance," Empirica, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 77-101, February.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Kane, Edward J., 2001. "Dynamic inconsistency of capital forbearance: Long-run vs. short-run effects of too-big-to-fail policymaking," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 281-299, August.
  8. Du, Julan & Li, David D., 2007. "The soft budget constraint of banks," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 108-135, March.
  9. Calzolari, Giacomo & Lóránth, Gyöngyi, 2004. "Regulation of Multinational banks: A Theoretical Inquiry," CEPR Discussion Papers 4232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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.
  11. Niinimaki, J.-P., 2012. "Hidden loan losses, moral hazard and financial crises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14.
  12. Mundaca, Gabriela, 2008. "Monitoring, Liquidity and Financial Crises," MPRA Paper 20501, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Oct 2009.
  13. Nier, Erlend & Baumann, Ursel, 2006. "Market discipline, disclosure and moral hazard in banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 332-361, July.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Bastidon, Cécile & Gilles, Philippe & Huchet, Nicolas, 2008. "The international lender of last resort and selective bail-out," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 144-152, June.

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