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Four Futures for Finance; A scenario study

  • Michiel Bijlsma


  • Wouter Elsenburg


  • Michiel van Leuvensteijn


This document presents four scenarios for the future of finance. The goal of our study is to imagine the future of finance and to identify challenges faced by policymakers in fighting systemic risk. It builds upon a tradition within the CPB to develop scenarios for policy analysis. We develop four scenarios for the future of finance. Our scenarios differ in two dimensions. First, to what extent soft information lies at the core of banks’ business. Second, to what extent scope economies exist between different banking activities. By combining these two dimensions, we obtain four scenarios: Isolated Islands, Big Banks, Competing Conglomerates, and Flat Finance. Market structure, market failures, and government failures vary between scenarios. These differences then translate into differences in the complexity of balance sheets, the ability to coordinate policy internationally, the information gap faced by regulators, the size of banks’ balance sheets, the tradability of banks’ assets, the level of interconnectedness, the potential for market discipline, and the threat of regulatory capture. As a result, each scenario calls for a different set of policies to combat systemic risk.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Document with number 211.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpb:docmnt:211
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  1. Robert DeYoung & Douglas Evanoff & Philip Molyneux, 2009. "Mergers and Acquisitions of Financial Institutions: A Review of the Post-2000 Literature," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 87-110, December.
  2. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2009. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives inside the Firm: The Effect of Foreign Competition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 179-212, 04.
  3. Haubrich, Joseph G., 1989. "Financial intermediation : Delegated monitoring and long-term relationships," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 9-20, March.
  4. Leuvensteijn, Michiel van & Bikker, Jacob A. & Rixtel, Adrian A.R.J.M. van & Kok-Sensen, Christoffer, 2007. "A new approach to measuring competition in the loan markets of the euro area," CEI Working Paper Series 2007-6, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2006. "Competition among regulators and credit market integration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 401-430, February.
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