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Do Banks Take Unusual Risks When Interest Rates Are Expected To Stay Low For A Long Time?

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  • Gaggl, Paul
  • Valderrama, Maria Teresa

Abstract

The financial woes that initiated the financial crisis of 2007/08 have, at least in part, been traced to excessive bank risk-taking. What induced this behavior? One explanation is the persistently low short-term interest rates during the mid-2000s. We exploit an extensive panel of matched Austrian banks and firms during 2000–2008 to investigate the effects of the European Central Bank's (ECB) policy of persistently low interest rates during 2003q3–2005q3. Our analysis suggests that this policy likely caused Austrian banks to hold risker loan portfolios than they would have in its absence.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaggl, Paul & Valderrama, Maria Teresa, 2019. "Do Banks Take Unusual Risks When Interest Rates Are Expected To Stay Low For A Long Time?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(6), pages 2409-2433, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:23:y:2019:i:06:p:2409-2433_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Byrne, David & Kelly, Robert, 2019. "Monetary policy expectations and risk-taking among U.S. banks," Research Technical Papers 6/RT/19, Central Bank of Ireland.
    2. Toni Beutler & Matthias Gubler & Simona Hauri & Sylvia Kaufmann, 2020. "Bank lending in Switzerland: Capturing cross-sectional heterogeneity and asymmetry over time," Working Papers 2020-12, Swiss National Bank.

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