Banking Crisis vs. Credit Crunch? A Cross-Country Comparison of Policy Responses to Dilemmas in Banking Regulation
Restrictive policies aimed at reducing the likelihood of bank failure during recessions tend to increase the probability of a credit crunch. In this paper we infer governments' policy responses to this dilemma by studying the cyclical behavior of bank capital in 1369 banks from 28 OECD countries during the period 1992-98. We find significant differences across countries. In the US and Japan, bank capital is counter-cyclical, that is, the typical bank strengthens its capital base during periods of weak economic activity. In the other countries, there is no relationship between the level of macroeconomic activity and bank capital. From these findings we infer that severe banking crises in the US and Japan may have made policymakers there more vigilant towards unhealthy banks, even when this implies an increase in the risk of a credit crunch. In countries without such crisis experience, policymakers seem to be less concerned about future banking crises. Our results suggest that the strong push by the US for the 1988 Basle Accord may have been a reflection of this increased sensitivity. They also suggest that, to the extent business cycles do not develop in synchronicity across countries and policymakers respond differently to the banking crisis-credit crunch dilemma, current reforms of the Basle Accord, which are designed to tighten regulatory requirements, may encounter difficulties.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:6:y:2004:i:2:n:2. 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: (Peter Golla)
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.