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The Procyclical Effects of Basel II

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  • Repullo, Rafael
  • Suarez, Javier

Abstract

We analyze the cyclical effects of moving from risk-insensitive (Basel I) to risk-sensitive (Basel II) capital requirements in the context of a dynamic equilibrium model of relationship lending in which banks are unable to access the equity markets every period. Banks anticipate that shocks to their earnings as well as the cyclical position of the economy can impair their capacity to lend in the future and, as a precaution, hold capital buffers. We find that the new regulation changes the behavior of these buffers from countercyclical to procyclical. Yet, the higher buffers maintained in expansions are insufficient to prevent a significant contraction in the supply of credit at the arrival of a recession. We show that cyclical adjustments in the confidence level behind Basel II can reduce its procyclical effects without compromising banks' long-run solvency.

Suggested Citation

  • Repullo, Rafael & Suarez, Javier, 2008. "The Procyclical Effects of Basel II," CEPR Discussion Papers 6862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6862
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    banking regulation; Basel II; business cycles; capital requirements; credit crunch; loan defaults; relationship banking;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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