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A smoke screen theory of financial intermediation

  • Breton, R.

This paper explores the role of diversification and size in protecting information. We present a simple two period credit market with a sophisticated lender faced with competitors who free ride on his screening activity. Absent commitment problems, the lender funds one borrower and exerts optimal evaluation. When borrowers cannot commit to a long term relationship, the free riding problem is responsible for too little evaluation. We show how this problem can be mitigated by simultaneously financing several borrowers. This effect provides a rationale for intermediaries as an `information garbling' device.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 356.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:356
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 2001. "Small business credit availability and relationship lending: the importance of bank organizational structure," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
  3. John H. Boyd & Edward C. Prescott, 1985. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Staff Report 87, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Broecker, Thorsten, 1990. "Credit-Worthiness Tests and Interbank Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 429-52, March.
  5. Boot, Arnoud W. A., 2000. "Relationship Banking: What Do We Know?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-25, January.
  6. Scholtens, Bert & van Wensveen, Dick, 2000. "A critique on the theory of financial intermediation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 1243-1251, August.
  7. Demirguc-Kunt, Ash & Levine, Ross, 1996. "Stock Market Development and Financial Intermediaries: Stylized Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 291-321, May.
  8. Ernst-Ludwig VON THADDEN, 1998. "Asymmetric Information, Bank Lending and Implicit Contracts : The Winner's Curse," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9809, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  9. Philip Bond, 2004. "Bank and Nonbank Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2489-2529, December.
  10. Douglas J. Cumming, 2006. "The Determinants of Venture Capital Portfolio Size: Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1083-1126, May.
  11. Allen, Franklin, 1990. "The market for information and the origin of financial intermediation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-30, March.
  12. Campbell, Tim S., 1979. "Abstract: Optimal Investment Financing Decisions and the Value of Confidentiality," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 669-669, November.
  13. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Milgrom, Paul R. & Weber, Robert J., 1983. "Competitive bidding and proprietary information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 161-169, April.
  14. Gorton, Gary & Winton, Andrew, 2003. "Financial intermediation," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 431-552 Elsevier.
  15. Mayer, Colin, 1988. "New issues in corporate finance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1167-1183, June.
  16. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Greenbaum, Stuart I. & Thakor, Anjan V., 1986. "Information reusability, competition and bank asset quality," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 243-253, June.
  17. Hellwig, Martin F, 2000. "Financial Intermediation with Risk Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 719-42, October.
  18. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  19. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-43, May.
  20. Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2006. "Should Banks Be Diversified? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1355-1412, May.
  21. Roman Inderst & Holger M. Mueller, 2006. "Informed Lending and Security Design," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(5), pages 2137-2162, October.
  22. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Anjan V. Thakor, 2000. "Can Relationship Banking Survive Competition?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 679-713, 04.
  23. Ramakrishnan, Ram T S & Thakor, Anjan V, 1984. "Information Reliability and a Theory of Financial Intermediation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 415-32, July.
  24. Steven A. Sharpe, 1989. "Asymmetric information, bank lending, and implicit contracts: a stylized model of customer relationships," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 70, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  25. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  26. Campbell, Tim S., 1979. "Optimal Investment Financing Decisions and the Value of Confidentiality," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(05), pages 913-924, December.
  27. V. Cerasi & S. Daltung, 1995. "The Optimal Size of a Bank: Costs and Benefits of Diversification," Departmental Working Papers 1995-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  28. Christopher James & David C. Smith, 2000. "Are Banks Still Special? New Evidence on Their Role in the Corporate Capital-Raising Process," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 13(1), pages 52-63.
  29. Billett, Matthew T & Flannery, Mark J & Garfinkel, Jon A, 1995. " The Effect of Lender Identity on a Borrowing Firm's Equity Return," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 699-718, June.
  30. 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.
  31. James, Christopher, 1987. "Some evidence on the uniqueness of bank loans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 217-235, December.
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