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Banks Are Where The Liquidity Is

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  • Hart, Oliver
  • Zingales, Luigi

Abstract

What is so special about banks that their demise often triggers government intervention? In this paper we show that, even ignoring interconnectedness issues, the failure of a bank causes a larger welfare loss than the failure of other institutions. The reason is that agents in need of liquidity tend to concentrate their holdings in banks. Thus, a shock to banks disproportionately affects the agents who need liquidity the most, reducing aggregate demand and the level of economic activity. The optimal fiscal response to such a shock is to help people, not banks, and the size of this response should be larger if a bank, rather than a similarly-sized nonfinancial firm, fails.

Suggested Citation

  • Hart, Oliver & Zingales, Luigi, 2014. "Banks Are Where The Liquidity Is," CEPR Discussion Papers 10017, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2012. "The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 233-267.
    2. Hanson, Samuel G. & Shleifer, Andrei & Stein, Jeremy C. & Vishny, Robert W., 2015. "Banks as patient fixed-income investors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 449-469.
    3. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    5. Peter M. DeMarzo, 2005. "The Pooling and Tranching of Securities: A Model of Informed Intermediation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 1-35.
    6. Stephen A. Ross, 1976. "Options and Efficiency," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(1), pages 75-89.
    7. 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 1367-1400, September.
    8. Gary B. Gorton & Guillermo Ordoñez, 2013. "The Supply and Demand for Safe Assets," NBER Working Papers 18732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Sharpe, Steven A, 1990. " Asymmetric Information, Bank Lending, and Implicit Contracts: A Stylized Model of Customer Relationships," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1069-1087, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert J. Barro & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Oren Levintal & Andrew Mollerus, 2014. "Safe Assets," NBER Working Papers 20652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Barro, Robert J. & Fern�ndez-Villaverde, Jes�s & Levintal, Oren & Mollerus, Andrew, 2017. "Safe Assets," CEPR Discussion Papers 12043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Brown, Kareen & Jha, Ranjini & Pacharn, Parunchana, 2015. "Ex ante CEO severance pay and risk-taking in the financial services sector," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 111-126.
    3. repec:sip:dpaper:15-010 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bailout; banking; Liquidity;

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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