IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Imperfect Competition in the Inter-Bank Market for Liquidity as a Rationale for Central Banking

  • Acharya, Viral V
  • Gromb, Denis
  • Yorulmazer, Tanju

We study liquidity transfers between banks through the interbank borrowing and asset sale markets when (i) surplus banks providing liquidity have market power, (ii) there are frictions in the lending market due to moral hazard, and (iii) assets are bank-specific. We show that when the outside options of needy banks are weak, surplus banks may strategically under-provide lending, thereby inducing inefficient sales of bank-specific assets. A central bank can ameliorate this inefficiency by standing ready to lend to needy banks, provided it has greater information about banks (e.g., through supervision) compared to outside markets, or is prepared to extend loss- making loans. The public provision of liquidity to banks, in fact its mere credibility, can thus improve the private allocation of liquidity among banks. This rationale for central banking finds support in historical episodes preceding the modern era of central banking and has implications for recent debates on the supervisory and lender-of-last-resort roles of central banks.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6984.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6984
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Charles W. Calomiris & Charles M. Kahn, 1996. "The efficiency of self-regulated payments systems: learning from the Suffolk System," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 766-803.
  2. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 252, David K. Levine.
  3. Giacinta Cestone, 1999. "Corporate Financing and Product Market Competition: An Overview," CSEF Working Papers 18, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Fang Cai, 2003. "Was there front running during the LTCM crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 758, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1998. "Liquidity risk, liquidity creation and financial fragility: a theory of banking," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
  6. Gary Gorton & Lixin Huang, 2002. "Bank Panics and the Endogeneity of Central Banking," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-29, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Viral V. Acharya & S. Viswanathan, 2011. "Leverage, Moral Hazard, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 99-138, 02.
  8. Saunders, Anthony & Wilson, Berry, 1996. "Contagious Bank Runs: Evidence from the 1929-1933 Period," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 409-423, October.
  9. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  11. Mark J. Flannery, 1996. "Financial crises, payment system problems, and discount window lending," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 804-831.
  12. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  13. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 1996. "Interbank Lending and Systemic Risk," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 733-62, November.
  14. Viral V. Acharya & Hyun Song Shin & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2011. "Crisis Resolution and Bank Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2166-2205.
  15. Houston, Joel & James, Christopher, 1996. " Bank Information Monopolies and the Mix of Private and Public Debt Claims," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1863-89, December.
  16. Xavier Freixas & Cornelia Holthausen, 2001. "Interbank market integration under asymmetric information," Economics Working Papers 579, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  17. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2008. "Learning from the Past," NBER Chapters, in: Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bech, Morten L. & Atalay, Enghin, 2010. "The topology of the federal funds market," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(22), pages 5223-5246.
  19. Ellis W. Tallman & Jon R. Moen, 2010. "Liquidity creation without a lender of last resort: clearing house loan certificates in the Banking Panic of 1907," Working Paper 1010, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  20. Lasse H. Pedersen & Markus Brunnermeier, 2004. "Predatory Trading," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 425, Econometric Society.
  21. Slovin, Myron B. & Sushka, Marie E. & Polonchek, John A., 1999. "An analysis of contagion and competitive effects at commercial banks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 197-225, October.
  22. Charles Goodhart, 1988. "The Evolution of Central Banks," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262570734, June.
  23. Goodhart, Charles & Schoenmaker, Dirk, 1995. "Should the Functions of Monetary Policy and Banking Supervision Be Separated?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(4), pages 539-60, October.
  24. Fama, Eugene F., 1985. "What's different about banks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-39, January.
  25. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2005. "Liquidity Shortages and Banking Crises," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 615-647, 04.
  26. James, Christopher, 1987. "Some evidence on the uniqueness of bank loans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 217-235, December.
  27. Acharya, Viral V & Viswanathan, S. Vish, 2008. "Moral Hazard, Collateral and Liquidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 6630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Repullo, Rafael, 2005. "Liquidity, Risk Taking, and the Lender of Last Resort," MPRA Paper 826, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  29. Bruce Ian Carlin & Miguel Sousa Lobo & S. Viswanathan, 2007. "Episodic Liquidity Crises: Cooperative and Predatory Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2235-2274, October.
  30. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia, 2011. "Monetary Policy under Financial Turbulence: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia (ed.), Monetary Policy under Financial Turbulence, edition 1, volume 16, chapter 1, pages 001-021 Central Bank of Chile.
  31. Furfine, Craig H, 2001. "Banks as Monitors of Other Banks: Evidence from the Overnight Federal Funds Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 33-57, January.
  32. Yaron Leitner, 2005. "Financial Networks: Contagion, Commitment, and Private Sector Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2925-2953, December.
  33. Gary Gorton & Lixin Huang, 2002. "Banking Panics and the Origin of Central Banking," NBER Working Papers 9137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Park, Sangkyun, 1991. "Bank failure contagion in historical perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 271-286, October.
  35. Gorton, Gary, 1985. "Clearinghouses and the Origin of Central Banking in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 277-283, June.
  36. Donaldson, R. Glen, 1992. "Costly liquidation, interbank trade, bank runs and panics," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 59-82, March.
  37. Sangkyun Park, 1991. "Bank failure contagion in historical perspective," Research Paper 9103, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  38. Beverly J. Hirtle & Jose A. Lopez, 1999. "Supervisory information and the frequency of bank examinations," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 1-20.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6984. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.