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Hidden loan losses, moral hazard and financial crises


  • Niinimaki, J.-P.


This paper introduces two methods of hiding loan losses and analyzes how they affect a bank's loan interest income, payments on deposits, liquidity and moral hazard. The analysis reveals that a hiding method represents a Ponzi scheme. Contrary to classic theory, e.g. Diamond (1984), moral hazard may arise even though a bank's loan portfolio is diversified. Alternative instruments to eliminate hiding are investigated. Under specific circumstances, a Ponzi scheme may provide a socially optimal method to create liquidity and prevent a failure of a solvent but illiquid bank.

Suggested Citation

  • Niinimaki, J.-P., 2012. "Hidden loan losses, moral hazard and financial crises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finsta:v:8:y:2012:i:1:p:1-14 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfs.2009.08.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhu, Anding & Fu, Peihua & Zhang, Qinghe & Chen, Zhenyue, 2017. "Ponzi scheme diffusion in complex networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 479(C), pages 128-136.

    More about this item


    Banking; Evergreening; Deposit insurance; Liquidity; Forbearance lending;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation


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