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Banking stability, reputational rents, and the stock market: should bank regulators care about stock prices?

  • Anjan V. Thakor

In this paper I begin with a model that generates quantity credit rationing by banks in the spot credit market when the stock market is not doing well, i.e., asset prices are low. Then I provide a theoretical rationale for a bank loan commitment as partial insurance against such future rationing. Incorporating uncertainty about both the creditworthiness of borrowers and the abilities of banks to screen borrowers, I show that the reputational concerns of banks can lead to an equilibrium in which loan commitments serve their role in increasing the supply of credit relative to the spot credit market, but produce the inefficiency of excessive credit supply when the stock market is doing well. Despite this, welfare is higher with loan commitments than with spot credit. ; I use this result to then examine whether the level of the stock market--and more generally asset prices--should matter to bank regulators. My analysis suggests that it should, but not for the usual reason that a bull stock market could trigger inflation. Rather, it is because reputation-concerned banks lend too much during bull markets, leading to a worsening of credit quality and a higher liability for the federal deposit insurer. More stringent stock market information disclosure rules tend to attenuate this distortion and thus deserve consideration by bank regulators. A regulatory policy implication of the analysis is that regulation should be "state-contingent"--regulatory auditing of bank asset portfolios should be more stringent during bull stock markets, or asset pricing bubbles.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its journal Conference Series ; [Proceedings].

Volume (Year): (2002)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcp:y:2002
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  1. Shockley, Richard L & Thakor, Anjan V, 1997. "Bank Loan Commitment Contracts: Data, Theory, and Tests," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 517-34, November.
  2. KOHLBERG, Elon & MERTENS, Jean-François, . "On the strategic stability of equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers RP -716, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Shockley Richard L., 1995. "Bank Loan Commitments and Corporate Leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 272-301, July.
  4. Holmstrom, Bengt & Ricart i Costa, Joan, 1986. "Managerial Incentives and Capital Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 835-60, November.
  5. Dinc, I Serdar, 2000. "Bank Reputation, Bank Commitment, and the Effects of Competition in Credit Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 781-812.
  6. David M Kreps & Robert Wilson, 2003. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000813, David K. Levine.
  7. Boot, Arnoud W A & Greenbaum, Stuart I & Thakor, Anjan V, 1993. "Reputation and Discretion in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1165-83, December.
  8. Anil Kashyap & Raghuram Rajan & Jeremy S. Stein, 1998. "Banks as liquidity providers: an explanation for the co-existence of lending and deposit-taking," Proceedings 582, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Anjan V. Thakor, 2000. "Can Relationship Banking Survive Competition?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 679-713, 04.
  10. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sobel, Joel., 1985. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Working Papers 565, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. "Why Bank Credit Policies Fluctuate: A Theory and Some Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 399-441, May.
  12. Sharpe, Steven A, 1990. " Asymmetric Information, Bank Lending, and Implicit Contracts: A Stylized Model of Customer Relationships," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1069-87, September.
  13. Thakor, Anjan V., 2000. "Relationship Banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-5, January.
  14. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Ezra Friedman & Robert Marquez, 1999. "Adverse Selection as a Barrier to Entry in the Banking Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 515-534, Autumn.
  15. Morgan, Donald P, 1998. "The Credit Effects of Monetary Policy: Evidence Using Loan Commitments," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(1), pages 102-18, February.
  16. Allen, Franklin, 1990. "The market for information and the origin of financial intermediation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-30, March.
  17. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. " Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-400, September.
  18. Duca, John V & Vanhoose, David D, 1990. "Loan Commitments and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(2), pages 178-94, May.
  19. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  20. Thakor, Anjan V, 1996. " Capital Requirements, Monetary Policy, and Aggregate Bank Lending: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 279-324, March.
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