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Credit policy in times of financial distress

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  • Costas Azariadis

    (Washington University and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

This essay evaluates two central bank policy tools, capital requirements and lending of last resort, designed to avert financial panics in the context of endowment economics with complete markets and limited borrower commitment. Credit panics are self-fulfilling shocks to expected credit conditions which cause transitions from an optimal but fragile steady state to a suboptimal state with zero unsecured credit. The main findings are: (i) Countercyclical reserve policies protect the optimum equilibrium against modest shocks but are powerless against large shocks. (ii) If we ignore private information and central banks inefficiencies, this class of models bears out Bagehot’s 1873 claim in Lombard Street: panics are averted if central banks stand ready to lend at a rate somewhat above the one associated with the optimal state.

Suggested Citation

  • Costas Azariadis, 2013. "Credit policy in times of financial distress," Special Conference Papers 23, Bank of Greece.
  • Handle: RePEc:bog:spaper:23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank panics; last resort; capital requirements; credit conditions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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