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Quantifying the impact of higher capital requirements on the Swiss economy

  • Georg Junge
  • Peter Kugler

    ()

    (University of Basel)

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    So far the discussion in Switzerland about the social costs and benefits of higher capital requirements resulting from the new Basel III Accord and the Swiss Too Big To Fail legislation has been heavily qualitative. This paper provides a quantitative view and estimates the long-run costs and benefits of substantially higher capital requirements using empirical evidence on Swiss banks to assess both benefits and costs. The analysis yields two main conclusions. The long-run economic benefits of higher capital requirements are substantial for the Swiss economy leading to a significantly lower probability of banking crises and associated expected losses. In contrast the costs of higher capital requirements as reflected in increased lending spreads and potential output reductions are literally non-existent. As an aside we note that the cyclical component of leverage is a major driver of leverage in the banking sector. This suggests that macro-prudential measures such as the countercyclical buffer could be an important tool against the build-up of systemic banking crises.

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    File URL: http://wwz.unibas.ch/uploads/tx_x4epublication/G_Junge_P_Kugler_August_28_2012_final_.pdf
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    Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2012/13.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2012/13
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Peter-Merian-Weg 6, Postfach, CH-4002 Basel
    Web page: http://wwz.unibas.ch

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    1. John Y. Campbell, 2002. "Consumption-Based Asset Pricing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1974, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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