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Evidence from the bond market on banks’ “Too-Big-to-Fail” subsidy



Using information on bonds issued over the 1985-2009 period, this study finds that the largest banks have a funding advantage over their smaller peers. This advantage may not be entirely attributable to investors? belief that the largest banks are ?too big to fail,? because the study also finds that the largest nonbanks, as well as the largest nonfinancial corporations, have a cost advantage relative to their smaller peers. However, a comparison across the three groups reveals that the funding advantage enjoyed by the largest banks is significantly larger than that available to the largest nonbanks and nonfinancial corporations. This difference is consistent with the hypothesis that investors believe the largest banks to be too big to fail.

Suggested Citation

  • João A. C. Santos, 2014. "Evidence from the bond market on banks’ “Too-Big-to-Fail” subsidy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 29-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:00009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anginer, Deniz & Warburton, A. Joseph, 2014. "The Chrysler effect: The impact of government intervention on borrowing costs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 62-79.
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    More about this item


    Too-big-to-fail; Bond spreads;

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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