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Liquidity Risk, Liquidity Creation and Financial Fragility: A Theory of Banking

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  • DOUGLAS W. DIAMOND
  • RAGHURAM G. RAJAN

Abstract

Both investors and borrowers are concerned about liquidity. Investors desire liquidity because they are uncertain about when they will want to eliminate their holding of a financial asset. Borrowers are concerned about liquidity because they are uncertain about their ability to continue to attract or retain funding. Because borrowers typically cannot repay investors on demand, investors will require a premium or significant control rights when they lend to borrowers directly, as compensation for the illiquidity investors will be subject to. We argue that banks can resolve these liquidity problems that arise in direct lending. Banks enable depositors to withdraw at low cost, as well as buffer firms from the liquidity needs of their investors. We show the bank has to have a fragile capital structure, subject to bank runs, in order to perform these functions. Far from being an aberration to be regulated away, the funding of illiquid loans by a bank with volatile demand deposits is rationalized in the context of the functions it performs. This model can be used to investigate important issues such as narrow banking and bank capital requirements.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago in its series CRSP working papers with number 476.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:476

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  1. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2000. "Banks, Short Term Debt and Financial Crises: Theory, Policy Implications and Applications," NBER Working Papers 7764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1998. "The Paradox Of Liquidity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 733-771, August.
  3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and the Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-91, August.
  4. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
  5. Anil K. Kashyap & Raghuram Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 1999. "Banks as Liquidity Providers: An Explanation for the Co-Existence of Lending and Deposit-Taking," NBER Working Papers 6962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1995. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 3906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
  9. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, . "A Theory of Bank Capital," CRSP working papers 363, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  10. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 1-40, February.
  11. Greenbaum, Stuart I. & Kanatas, George & Venezia, Itzhak, 1989. "Equilibrium loan pricing under the bank-client relationship," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 221-235, May.
  12. Diamond, Douglas W, 1997. "Liquidity, Banks, and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 928-56, October.
  13. Jacklin, Charles J & Bhattacharya, Sudipto, 1988. "Distinguishing Panics and Information-Based Bank Runs: Welfare and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 568-92, June.
  14. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  15. John H. Boyd & Edward C. Prescott, 1985. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Staff Report 87, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  17. Mark J. Flannery, 1991. "Debt maturity and the deadweight cost of leverage: optimally financing banking firms," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  18. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. " Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-400, September.
  19. Qi, Jianping, 1998. "Deposit Liquidity and Bank Monitoring," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 198-218, April.
  20. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  21. Erik Berglof & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 1994. "Capital Structure with Multiple Investors," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0044, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
  22. Sharpe, Steven A, 1990. " Asymmetric Information, Bank Lending, and Implicit Contracts: A Stylized Model of Customer Relationships," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1069-87, September.
  23. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
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  1. Reflections on a Year of Crisis
    by Barry Ritholtz in the big picture on 2009-08-21 14:30:12
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