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Cash-in-the-Market Pricing and Optimal Resolution of Bank Failures

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  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Tanju Yorulmazer

Abstract

As the number of bank failures increases, the set of assets available for acquisition by surviving banks enlarges but the total liquidity available with surviving banks falls. This results in "cash-in-the-market" pricing for liquidation of banking assets. At a sufficiently large number of bank failures, and in turn, at a sufficiently low level of asset prices, there are too many banks to liquidate and inefficient users of assets who are liquidity-endowed may end up owning the liquidated assets. In order to avoid this allocation inefficiency, it may be ex-post optimal for the regulator to bail out some failed banks. We show, however, that there exists a policy that involves granting liquidity to surviving banks in the purchase of failed banks, which is equivalent to the bailout policy from an ex-post standpoint. Crucially, this liquidity provision policy gives banks incentives to differentiate, rather than to herd, makes aggregate banking crises less likely, and thereby dominates the bailout policy from an ex-ante standpoint. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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  • Viral V. Acharya & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2008. "Cash-in-the-Market Pricing and Optimal Resolution of Bank Failures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(6), pages 2705-2742, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:6:p:2705-2742
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