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Moral hazard under the Japanese "convoy" banking system


  • Mark M. Spiegel


This paper examines a banking regime similar to the "convoy" scheme which prevailed in Japan through most of the 1990s. Insolvent banks are merged with solvent banks rather than closed, with the acquiring banks required to accept negative value banks at zero value. I demonstrate that a convoy scheme effectively taxes the acquiring bank and increases moral hazard by reducing bank effort towards enhancing its portfolio, even relative to a fixed-premium deposit insurance system, for negative value banks. However, for positive bank charter values, which are retained under the convoy scheme and lost under the deposit insurance program, these effects may be mitigated or even overturned. ; I also find that the rules governing the convoy scheme can affect bank behavior. I compare two convoy regimes, one where acquiring banks are chosen at random and one where the weakest banks are paired with the strongest banks. Simulations reveal that the disparities in bank effort between the two convoy regimes are greater than those between the convoy regimes and the fixed-premium deposit insurance regime. I confirm the theoretical result above that the bank effort under either convoy program is increasing in bank charter value.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark M. Spiegel, 1999. "Moral hazard under the Japanese "convoy" banking system," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1999:p:3-13:n:3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap, 2000. "The Japanese Banking Crisis: Where Did It Come From and How Will It End?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 129-212 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kenneth Kasa & Mark M. Spiegel, 2008. "The role of relative performance in bank closure decisions," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 17-29.
    3. Giammarino, Ronald M & Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1993. " An Incentive Approach to Banking Regulation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1523-1542, September.
    4. Nobuyoshi Yamori, 1999. "Stock Market Reaction to the Bank Liquidation in Japan: A Case for the Informational Effect Hypothesis," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 15(1), pages 57-68, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark M. Spiegel & Nobuyoshi Yamori, 2003. "Determinants of voluntary bank disclosure: evidence from Japanese Shinkin banks," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 03-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Spiegel, Mark M., 2000. "Bank Charter Value and the Viability of the Japanese Convoy System," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 149-168, September.
    3. Mark M. Spiegel & Nobuyoshi Yamori, 2000. "The evolution of "too-big-to-fail" policy in Japan: evidence from market equity values," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 00-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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    Banks and banking - Japan;


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