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Are Some Banks Too Large To Fail? Myth And Reality




At the time of the Continental Illinois National Bank insolvency, bank regulators considered some commercial banks "too large to fail" (TLTF) and were reluctant both to legally fail such banks and to impose pro rata losses on any of the uninsured creditors of these insolvent banks and their parent holding companies. This policy was introduced due to widespread fears that large bank failures would set off a domino effect bringing down other banks and possibly even the macroeconomy as it did during the 1930s. Also, because these banks are considered special in that they provide money and credit to their communities, many feared that their failure could reduce greatly the availability of these services. Copyright 1990 Western Economic Association International.

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  • George G. Kaufman, 1990. "Are Some Banks Too Large To Fail? Myth And Reality," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 8(4), pages 1-14, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:8:y:1990:i:4:p:1-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gorton, Gary, 1985. "Clearinghouses and the Origin of Central Banking in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 277-283, June.
    2. George J. Benston & George G. Kaufman, 1988. "Risk and solvency regulation of depository institutions: past policies and current options," Staff Memoranda 88-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Philip Cagan, 1965. "Determinants and Effects of Changes in the Stock of Money, 1875–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number caga65-1, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Colvin, Christopher L. & de Jong, Abe & Fliers, Philip T., 2015. "Predicting the past: Understanding the causes of bank distress in the Netherlands in the 1920s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 97-121.
    2. George G. Kaufman & Steven A. Seelig, 2000. "Post-resolution treatment of depositors at failed banks: implications for the severity of banking crises, systemic risk, and too-big-to-fail," Working Paper Series WP-00-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Elijah Brewer & Ann Marie Klingenhagen, 2010. "Be careful what you wish for: the stock market reactions to bailing out large financial institutions: Evidence from the USA," Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 18(1), pages 56-69, February.
    4. Wall, Larry D. & Eisenbeis, Robert A. & Frame, W. Scott, 2005. "Resolving large financial intermediaries: Banks versus housing enterprises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 386-425, April.
    5. George Kaufman, 2000. "Comment on Benston and Wood," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 18(2), pages 235-239, December.
    6. Kaufman, George G., 2002. "Too big to fail in banking: What remains?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 423-436.
    7. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
    8. Robert L. Hetzel, 2009. "Should increased regulation of bank risk-taking come from regulators or from the market?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 161-200.
    9. George G. Kaufman & Steven A. Seelig, 2001. "Post-Resolution Treatment of Depositors At Failed Banks; Implications for the Severity of Banking Crises, Systemic Risk, and too-Big-To-Fail," IMF Working Papers 01/83, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Binder Jens-Hinrich, 2013. "Durchsetzung von Marktdisziplin mittels zwangsweiser Übertragung systemrelevanter Teile von Banken? / The Enforcement of Market Discipline through a Transfer of Systemic Functions in Banks," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 64(1), pages 377-404, January.

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