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Robust Capital Regulation

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  • Acharya, Viral V
  • Mehran, Hamid
  • Schuermann, Til
  • Thakor, Anjan

Abstract

We address the following questions concerning bank capital: why are banks so highly levered, what are the consequences of this leverage for the economy as a whole, and how can robust capital regulation be designed to restrict bank leverage to levels that do not generate excessive systemic risk? Bank leverage choices are a delicate balancing act: credit discipline argues for more leverage so that creditors have adequate skin in the game, while balance-sheet opacity and ease of asset substitution by bank managers and shareholders argue for less. Disturbing this balance are regulatory safety nets that promote ex post financial stability but also create perverse incentives for banks to engage in correlated asset choices ex ante and thus hold little equity capital. We discuss how a two-tier capital requirement can cope with these distortions: a core capital requirement like existing capital requirements, and a special capital account that must be invested in Treasuries, accrues to the bank’s shareholders as long as the bank is solvent, and accrues to the regulators (rather than the creditors) if the bank fails. The special capital account requirement ensures creditors have skin in the game and also provides the second margin of safety in the calculation of capital adequacy--a buffer for the regulator’s own "model risk" in calculations of needed capital buffers.

Suggested Citation

  • Acharya, Viral V & Mehran, Hamid & Schuermann, Til & Thakor, Anjan, 2012. "Robust Capital Regulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8792
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    Cited by:

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    2. Sumera Anis & Abdul Rashid, 2017. "Optimal Bank Capital And Impact Of The Mm Theorem: A Study Of The Pakistani Financial Sector," Annals of Financial Economics (AFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 12(02), pages 1-21, June.
    3. Hasan, Iftekhar & Hassan, Gazi & Kim, Suk-Joong & Wu, Eliza, 2021. "The real impact of ratings-based capital rules on the finance-growth nexus," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    4. Hogan, Thomas L., 2015. "Capital and risk in commercial banking: A comparison of capital and risk-based capital ratios," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 32-45.
    5. Jou, Rosemary & Chen, Shi & Tsai, Jeng-Yan, 2017. "Politically connected lending, government capital injection, and bank performance," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 220-232.
    6. Gornall, Will & Strebulaev, Ilya A., 2018. "Financing as a supply chain: The capital structure of banks and borrowers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(3), pages 510-530.
    7. Bunkanwanicha, Pramuan & Gupta, Jyoti & Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, 2016. "Pyramidal group structure and bank risk in Thailand," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 272-288.
    8. Chen, Shi & Lin, Ku-Jun, 2016. "Effects of government capital injection on bank and bank-dependent borrower," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 618-629.
    9. Iftekhar Hasan & Suk-Joong Kim & Eliza Wu, 2018. "The Effects of Ratings-Contingent Regulation on International Bank Lending Behavior: Evidence from the Basel 2 Accord," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Information Spillovers and Market Integration in International Finance Empirical Analyses, chapter 16, pages 547-603, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Changjun Zheng & Syed Moudud-Ul-Huq, 2017. "Banks’ capital regulation and risk: Does bank vary in size? Empirical evidence from Bangladesh," International Journal of Financial Engineering (IJFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(02n03), pages 1-27, June.
    11. Li, Xuelian & Lin, Jyh-Horng, 2016. "Shadow-banking entrusted loan management, deposit insurance premium, and capital regulation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 98-109.
    12. Chen, Shi & Lin, Ku-Jun, 2015. "Technology choice and bank performance with government capital injection under deposit insurance fund protection," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 162-174.
    13. Nguyen, Quang Thi Thieu & Gan, Christopher & Li, Zhaohua, 2019. "Bank capital regulation: How do Asian banks respond?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital requirements; leverage; market discipline; model risk; systemic risk;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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