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Do markets “discipline” all banks equally?


  • Joa˜o A.C. Santos


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the bond market disciplines all banks equally, in the sense of demanding the same relative risk premium across banks of different risk over the business cycle. Design/methodology/approach - To test this hypothesis, the paper compares the difference between the credit spreads in the primary market of bank and firm bonds with the same credit rating issued during expansions with that same difference of spreads for bonds issued during recessions. Findings - The paper finds that during recessions investors demand higher risk premiums. Importantly, the paper finds that the impact of recessions is not uniform across banks – it affects riskier banks more than safer ones. In other words, in recessions investors are relatively more demanding on riskier banks than on safer ones. Originality/value - These findings are novel. They also have important policy implications because they show that a bond-issuance policy aimed at promoting market discipline could affect the relative funding costs of banks over the business cycle. They also indicate that the information which can be extracted from the credit spreads on bank bonds varies across banks for reasons unrelated to their risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Joa˜o A.C. Santos, 2009. "Do markets “discipline” all banks equally?," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 107-123, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jfeppp:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:107-123

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    Cited by:

    1. Adrian Pop, 2009. "Beyond the Third Pillar of Basel Two: Taking Bond Market Signals Seriously," Working Papers hal-00419241, HAL.
    2. Martin Byford & Sinclair Davidson, 2013. "Informing Depositors: A Proposed Reform Of The Australian Banking Sector," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(4), pages 417-425, December.
    3. Luc Laeven, 2011. "Banking Crises: A Review," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 17-40, December.

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    Banks; Risk analysis; Financial markets;


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