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The Lender of Last Resort: A Twenty-First Century Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Xavier Freixas

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra,)

  • Jean-Charles Rochet

    (University of Toulouse, IDEI, and Toulouse Business School,)

  • Bruno M. Parigi

    (University of Padova,)

Abstract

The classical Bagehot conception of a Lender of Last Resort (LOLR) that lends to illiquid banks has been criticized on two grounds: On the one hand, the distinction between insolvency and illiquidity is not clear-cut; on the other, a fully collateralized repo market allows central banks to provide the adequate aggregate amount of liquidity and leave to the banks the responsibility of lending uncollateralized. The object of this paper is to analyze these issues rigorously by providing a framework in which liquidity shocks cannot be distinguished from solvency ones and then asking whether there is a need for a LOLR and how it should operate in the absence of systemic threats. Determining the optimal LOLR policy requires a careful modeling of the structure of the interbank market and of the closure policy. In our setup, the results depend upon the existence of moral hazard. If the main source of moral hazard is the banks' lack of incentives to screen loans, then the LOLR may have to intervene to improve the efficiency of an unsecured interbank market in crisis periods; if instead the main source of moral hazard is loan monitoring, then the interbank market should be secured and the LOLR should never intervene. (JEL: E58, 628) Copyright (c) 2004 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet & Bruno M. Parigi, 2004. "The Lender of Last Resort: A Twenty-First Century Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1085-1115, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:2:y:2004:i:6:p:1085-1115
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Tucker, 2014. "The lender of last resort and modern central banking: principles and reconstruction," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Re-thinking the lender of last resort, volume 79, pages 10-42 Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Weber, Patrick, 2015. "Does the Eurosystem's lender of last resort facility has a structurally di fferent option value across banks?," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113123, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Frederic Malherbe, 2014. "Self-Fulfilling Liquidity Dry-Ups," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(2), pages 947-970, April.
    4. Ewerhart, C. & Valla, N., 2008. "Financial market liquidity and the lender of last resort," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 11, pages 133-148, February.
    5. James T.E. Chapman & Antoine Martin, 2013. "Rediscounting under Aggregate Risk with Moral Hazard," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(4), pages 651-674, June.
    6. Jobst, Clemens & Bignon, Vincent, 2017. "Economic crises and the eligiblity for the lender of last resort: evidence from 19th century France," Working Paper Series 2027, European Central Bank.
    7. Rob Nijskens & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2011. "The Lender of Last Resort: Liquidity Provision versus the Possibility of Bailout," Chapters,in: Handbook of Central Banking, Financial Regulation and Supervision, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Ratnovski, Lev, 2013. "Liquidity and transparency in bank risk management," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 422-439.
    9. Niinimaki, J.-P., 2012. "Hidden loan losses, moral hazard and financial crises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14.
    10. Nuno Alves & Diana Bonfim & Carla Soares, 2016. "Surviving the perfect storm: the role of the lender of last resort," Working Papers w201617, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    11. Vincent Bignon & Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2012. "Bagehot for beginners: the making of lender‐of‐last‐resort operations in the mid‐nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 580-608, May.
    12. Vincent Bignon & Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2009. "Bagehot for beginners: The making of lending of last resort operations in the mid-19th century," Working Paper 2009/22, Norges Bank.
    13. Bignon, Vincent & Jobst, Clemens, 2017. "Economic Crises and the Eligibility for the Lender of Last Resort: Evidence from Nineteenth Century France," CEPR Discussion Papers 11737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Niinimäki, J.-P., 2009. "Does collateral fuel moral hazard in banking?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 514-521, March.
    15. Oet, Mikhail V. & Ong, Stephen J., 2015. "From Organization to Activity in the US Collateralized Interbank Market," Working Paper 1529, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    16. Nikolaou, Kleopatra, 2009. "Liquidity (risk) concepts: definitions and interactions," Working Paper Series 1008, European Central Bank.
    17. Skeie, David R., 2008. "Banking with nominal deposits and inside money," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 562-584, October.
    18. Spiros Bougheas & Alan Kirman, 2015. "Bank Insolvencies, Priority Claims and Systemic Risk," Discussion Papers 2015/08, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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