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Liquidity risk, liquidity creation and financial fragility: a theory of banking

  • Douglas W. Diamond
  • Raghuram G. Rajan

Both investors and borrowers are concerned about liquidity. Investors desire liquidity because they are uncertain about when they will want to eliminate their holding of a financial asset. Borrowers are concerned about liquidity because they are uncertain about their ability to continue to attract or retain funding. We argue that financial intermediation can resolve these liquidity problems that arise in direct lending. Banks enable depositors to withdraw at low cost, as well as buffer firms from the liquidity needs of their investors. We show the bank has to have a somewhat fragile capital structure, subject to bank runs, in ordre to perform these functions. A number of institutional featurs of a bank are therefore rationalized in the context of the functions it performs. This model can be used to investigate important issues such as narrow banking, and bank capital requirements.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (1998)
Issue (Month): Sep ()

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:1998:i:sep:x:1
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  1. Jacklin, Charles J & Bhattacharya, Sudipto, 1988. "Distinguishing Panics and Information-Based Bank Runs: Welfare and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 568-92, June.
  2. Greenbaum, Stuart I. & Kanatas, George & Venezia, Itzhak, 1989. "Equilibrium loan pricing under the bank-client relationship," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 221-235, May.
  3. Anil K. Kashyap & Raghuram Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Banks as Liquidity Providers: An Explanation for the Coexistence of Lending and Deposit-Taking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 33-73, 02.
  4. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2000. "Banks, Short Term Debt and Financial Crises: Theory, Policy Implications and Applications," NBER Working Papers 7764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1999. "A Theory of Bank Capital," NBER Working Papers 7431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 233, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  8. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  9. Qi, Jianping, 1998. "Deposit Liquidity and Bank Monitoring," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 198-218, April.
  10. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  11. John H. Boyd & Edward C. Prescott, 1985. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Staff Report 87, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and the Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-91, August.
  13. Erik Berglof & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 1994. "Capital Structure with Multiple Investors," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0044, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
  14. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Paradox of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
  16. Douglas W. Diamond, . "Liquidity, Banks and Markets," CRSP working papers 326, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  17. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  18. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  20. Mark J. Flannery, 1991. "Debt maturity and the deadweight cost of leverage: optimally financing banking firms," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  21. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
  22. 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.
  23. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
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