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Monetary policy and the risk-taking channel

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  • Leonardo Gambacorta

Abstract

This paper investigates the link between low interest rates and bank risk-taking. Monetary policy may influence banks’ perceptions of, and attitude towards, risk in at least two ways: (i) through a search for yield process, especially in the case of nominal return targets; and (ii) by means of the impact of interest rates on valuations, incomes and cash flows, which in turn can modify how banks measure risk. Using a comprehensive dataset of listed banks, this paper finds that low interest rates over an extended period cause an increase in banks’ risk-taking.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Gambacorta, 2009. "Monetary policy and the risk-taking channel," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:bisqtr:0912f
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2005. "Has financial development made the world riskier?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 313-369.
    2. Pagan, Adrian R. & Schwert, G. William, 1990. "Alternative models for conditional stock volatility," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 267-290.
    3. Bollerslev, Tim & Chou, Ray Y. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1992. "ARCH modeling in finance : A review of the theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 5-59.
    4. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
    5. Barth, James R. & Caprio, Gerard Jr. & Levine, Ross, 2004. "Bank regulation and supervision: what works best?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 205-248, April.
    6. Danielsson, Jon & Shin, Hyun Song & Zigrand, Jean-Pierre, 2004. "The impact of risk regulation on price dynamics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 1069-1087, May.
    7. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    8. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Burcu Duygan-Bump & José Fillat & Judit Montoriol-Garriga, 2008. "Looking behind the aggregates: a reply to “Facts and Myths about the Financial Crisis of 2008”," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU08-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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