Real Interest Rates and the Savings and Loan Crisis: The Moral Hazard Premium
Real interest rates shifted upwards by four or five percentage points in approximately 1980. The question is why. In this paper we review some of the more popular explanations and point out that they are somewhat inconsistent with the facts. We then present a new explanation which may partially account for the dramatic increase. We suggest that the upward shift in rates may be directly connected with the decade-long crisis in the savings and loan industry and the federal government's handling of that crisis. Owners and managers of troubled thrifts responded to the incentives provided by underpriced deposit insurance by offering higher and higher rates in an attempt to attract new funds. Depositors, anticipating that the government would protect their investments, actively sought out higher yields in local and national markets. The end result was that the rates offered by Treasury securities rose to compete with these quasi-risk-free substitutes sold by savings and loans. This added (and, indeed, continues to add) significantly to the federal government's borrowing costs. We calculate this increased cost under various assumptions about the effect of the S&L crisis on real interest rates.
Volume (Year): 6 (1992)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mishkin, F.S., 1988.
"Understanding Real Interest Rates,"
fb-_88-40, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
- Barro, Robert J., 1974.
"Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?,"
3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Kane, Edward J, 1989. "The High Cost of Incompletely Funding the FSLIC Shortage of Explicit Capital," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 31-47, Fall.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Kyle Bagwell, 1986.
"Is Everything Neutral?,"
NBER Working Papers
2086, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987.
"Finite lifetimes and the effects of budget deficits on national saving,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 369-391, September.
- James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Finite Lifetimes and the Effects of Budget Deficits on National Savings," Working papers 434, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Plosser, Charles I., 1987. "Fiscal policy and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 343-367, September.
- Kane, Edward J, 1990. " Principal-Agent Problems in S&L Salvage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 755-64, July.
- Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1986.
"The Strategic Bequest Motive,"
3721794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
- Frederic S. Mishkin, 1988. "Understanding Real Interest Rates," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1064-1072.
- Evans, Paul, 1987. "Do budget deficits raise nominal interest rates? : Evidence from six countries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 281-300, September.
- Evans, Paul, 1987. "Interest Rates and Expected Future Budget Deficits in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 34-58, February.
- Edward J. Kane, 1985. "The Gathering Crisis in Federal Deposit Insurance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262611856.
- Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Government financing decisions and asset returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 325-352.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:6:y:1992:i:1:p:155-67. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.