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Reputational contagion and optimal regulatory forbearance

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  • Morrison, Alan D.
  • White, Lucy

Abstract

Existing studies suggest that systemic crises may arise because banks either hold correlated assets, or are connected by interbank lending. This paper shows that common regulation is also a conduit for interbank contagion. One bank's failure may undermine confidence in the banking regulator's competence, and, hence, in other banks chartered by the same regulator. As a result, depositors withdraw funds from otherwise unconnected banks. The optimal regulatory response to this behavior can be privately to exhibit forbearance to a failing bank. We show that regulatory transparency improves confidence ex ante but impedes regulators' ability to stem panics ex post.

Suggested Citation

  • Morrison, Alan D. & White, Lucy, 2013. "Reputational contagion and optimal regulatory forbearance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 642-658.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:110:y:2013:i:3:p:642-658
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2013.08.011
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contagion; Reputation; Bank regulation;
    All these keywords.

    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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