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Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk-taking

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  • DellAriccia, Giovanni
  • Laeven, Luc
  • Marquez, Robert

Abstract

The recent global financial crisis has ignited a debate on whether easy monetary conditions can lead to greater bank risk-taking. We study this issue in a model of leveraged financial intermediaries that endogenously choose the riskiness of their portfolios. When banks can adjust their capital structures, monetary easing unequivocally leads to greater leverage and higher risk. However, if the capital structure is fixed, the effect depends on the degree of leverage: following a policy rate cut, well capitalized banks increase risk, while highly levered banks decrease it. Further, the capitalization cutoff depends on the degree of bank competition. It is therefore expected to vary across countries and over time.

Suggested Citation

  • DellAriccia, Giovanni & Laeven, Luc & Marquez, Robert, 2011. "Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk-taking," CEPR Discussion Papers 8199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8199
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    banking; leverage; monetary policy; risk taking;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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