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Bailout Uncertainty in a Microfounded General Equilibrium Model of the Financial System

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  • Cukierman, Alex
  • Izhakian, Yehuda

Abstract

This paper develops a micro-founded general equilibrium model of the financial system composed of ultimate borrowers, ultimate lenders and financial intermediaries. The model is used to investigate the impact of uncertainty about the likelihood of governmental bailouts on leverage, interest rates, the volume of defaults and the real economy. The distinction between risk and uncertainty is implemented by applying the Gilboa-Schmeidler maxmin with multiple priors framework to lenders' beliefs about the probability of bailout. Events like Lehman's collapse are conceived of as 'black swan' events that led lenders to put a positive mass on bailout probabilities that were previously assigned zero mass. Results of the analysis include: (i) An unanticipated increase in bailout uncertainty raises interest rates, the volume of defaults in both the real and financial sectors and may lead to a total drying up of credit markets. (ii) Lower exante bailout uncertainty is conducive to higher leverage - which raises moral hazard and makes the economy more vulnerable to expost increases in bailout uncertainty. (iii) Bailout uncertainty raises the likelihood of bubbles, the amplitude of booms and busts as well as the banking and the credit spreads. (iv) Bailout uncertainty is associated with higher returns’ variability in diversified portfolios and systemic risks, (v) Expansionary monetary policy reinforces those effects by inducing higher aggregate leverage levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Cukierman, Alex & Izhakian, Yehuda, 2011. "Bailout Uncertainty in a Microfounded General Equilibrium Model of the Financial System," CEPR Discussion Papers 8453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8453
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    Cited by:

    1. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Nijskens, Rob, 2012. "A dynamic analysis of bank bailouts and constructive ambiguity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Nosal, Jaromir B. & Ordoñez, Guillermo, 2016. "Uncertainty as commitment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 124-140.
    3. Nijskens, Rob, 2014. "A sheep in wolf’s clothing: Can a central bank appear tougher than it is?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 94-103.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity Aversion; Bailouts; Duration mismatches; Financial intermediaries; Lehman's Collapse; Leverage; Risk; Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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