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Japanese banking problems: implications for lending in the United States


  • Joe Peek
  • Eric S. Rosengren


Fueled by a high saving rate, active exporting firms, and a booming stock market, Japanese banks expanded aggressively worldwide during the 1980's. By 1988, all of the 10 largest banks in the world were Japanese, with a significant presence in Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In the 1990's, however, the tide turned. Japanese banks experienced a significant diminution of capital as a result of sharp declines in the Japanese stock market and substantial increases in nonperforming loans. Increasingly constrained by international capital requirements, Japanese banks began to shrink their international operations while insulating their domestic lending operations. ; This article examines factors affecting the Japanese banking presence in the United States. In particular, the authors examine the role that capital requirements played in the decisions by Japanese banks to reduce their lending here. Because U.S. banking markets have been unusually open by international standards, and because of the large penetration by Japanese banks, the experience here provides useful insights into how globally active banks may react in the future to problems in their domestic markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 1999. "Japanese banking problems: implications for lending in the United States," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 25-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbne:y:1999:i:jan:p:25-36

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. French, Kenneth R. & Poterba, James M., 1991. "Were Japanese stock prices too high?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 337-363, October.
    2. Ben S. Bernanke & Cara S. Lown, 1991. "The Credit Crunch," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 205-248.
    3. Gibson, Michael S, 1995. "Can Bank Health Affect Investment? Evidence from Japan," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 281-308, July.
    4. Allen B. Frankel & Paul B. Morgan, 1992. "Deregulation and competition in Japanese banking," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Aug, pages 579-593.
    5. Allen B. Frankel & Paul B. Morgan, 1992. "Deregulation and competition in Japanese banking," Proceedings 383, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakraborty, Suparna & Allen, Linda, 2007. "Revisiting the Level Playing Field: International Lending Responses to Divergences in Japanese Bank Capital Regulations from the Basel Accord," MPRA Paper 1805, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Laeven, Luc & Valencia, Fabián, 2012. "The use of blanket guarantees in banking crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1220-1248.

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    Banks and banking - Japan;


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