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Asset Encumbrance, Bank Funding, and Fragility

Author

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  • Toni Ahnert
  • Kartik Anand
  • Prasanna Gai
  • James Chapman
  • Philip StrahanEditor

Abstract

We model asset encumbrance by banks subject to rollover risk and study the consequences for fragility, funding costs, and prudential regulation. A bank’s privately optimal encumbrance choice balances the benefit of expanding profitable, yet illiquid, investment funded by cheap long-term senior secured debt, against the cost of greater fragility from runs on unsecured debt. We derive testable implications about encumbrance ratios. The introduction of deposit insurance or wholesale funding guarantees induces excessive encumbrance and fragility. Limits on asset encumbrance or Pigovian taxes eliminate such risk-shifting incentives. Our results shed light on prudential policies currently being pursued in several jurisdictions. Received September 9, 2017; editorial decision July 28, 2018 by Editor Philip Strahan.

Suggested Citation

  • Toni Ahnert & Kartik Anand & Prasanna Gai & James Chapman & Philip StrahanEditor, 2019. "Asset Encumbrance, Bank Funding, and Fragility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 32(6), pages 2422-2455.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:32:y:2019:i:6:p:2422-2455.
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    Cited by:

    1. Banal-Estanol, Albert & Benito, Enrique & Khametshin, Dmitry, 2017. "Asset encumbrance and bank risk: First evidence from public disclosures in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 12168, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Enrico Perotti & Rafael Matta, 2015. "Insecure Debt," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-035/IV/DSF88, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Robert McKeown, 2017. "An Overview Of The Canadian Banking System: 1996 To 2015," Working Paper 1379, Economics Department, Queen's University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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