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U.S. Commercial Banking: Trends, Cycles, and Policy

  • Boyd, J.H.
  • Gertler, M.

This paper pinpoints sources of recent problems in U.S. commercial banking. The objective is to provide a context for evaluating policy options. There are three parts. The first documents how increased competition and financial innovation made banking less stable in the 1980s. The second part identifies the specific sources of the industry's difficulties over this decade. We find that the poor ex post performance by large banks provided the main stress on the system. From a variety of evidence, we conclude that this poor performance was the product of increased competition for the industry and a regulatory system that provides greater subsidies to risk-taking by large banks relative to the industry mean. The third part analyzes recent policy reforms and on-going policy options. in the light of our evidence on the main sources of problems in banking.

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File URL: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/9389/RR93-19.pdf
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Paper provided by C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University in its series Working Papers with number 93-19.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 1993
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:93-19
Contact details of provider: Postal:
C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012

Phone: (212) 998-8936
Fax: (212) 995-3932
Web page: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/object/econ.cvstarr.html
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Order Information: Postal: C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012
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  1. Boyd, John H. & Runkle, David E., 1993. "Size and performance of banking firms : Testing the predictions of theory," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 47-67, February.
  2. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
  3. Smith, Bruce D, 1991. "Bank Panics, Suspensions, and Geography: Some Notes on the "Contagion of Fear" in Banking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 230-48, April.
  4. John H. Boyd & Edward C. Prescott, 1985. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Staff Report 87, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Richard Cantor & Ronald Johnson, 1992. "Bank capital ratios, asset growth, and the stock market," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aut, pages 10-24.
  6. John H. Boyd & Stanley L. Graham, 1991. "Investigating the banking consolidation trend," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-15.
  7. Williamson, Stephen D., 1986. "Costly monitoring, financial intermediation, and equilibrium credit rationing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-179, September.
  8. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
  9. Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. " On Economics and Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 633-35, July.
  10. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  11. Boyd, John H. & Graham, Stanley L. & Hewitt, R. Shawn, 1993. "Bank holding company mergers with nonbank financial firms: Effects on the risk of failure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 43-63, February.
  12. Mark Gertler, 1988. "Financial structure and aggregate economic activity: an overview," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 559-596.
  13. Avery, Robert B. & Berger, Allen N., 1991. "Loan commitments and bank risk exposure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 173-192, February.
  14. V. V. Chari, 1989. "Banking without deposit insurance or bank panics: lessons from a model of the U.S. national banking system," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-19.
  15. Martin Feldstein, 1991. "The Risk of Economic Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld91-2.
  16. Kareken, John H & Wallace, Neil, 1978. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Regulation: A Partial-Equilibrium Exposition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 413-38, July.
  17. Martin Feldstein, 1991. "Reducing the Risk of Economic Crisis," NBER Working Papers 3620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  19. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
  20. Edward J. Kane, 1985. "The Gathering Crisis in Federal Deposit Insurance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262611856.
  21. Merton, Robert C. & Bodie, Zvi, 1993. "Deposit insurance reform: a functional approach," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-34, June.
  22. Black, Fischer, 1975. "Bank funds management in an efficient market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 323-339, December.
  23. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. O'Hara, Maureen & Shaw, Wayne, 1990. " Deposit Insurance and Wealth Effects: The Value of Being "Too Big to Fail."," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1587-1600, December.
  25. Robert N. McCauley & Rama Seth, 1992. "Foreign bank credit to U.S. corporations: the implications of offshore loans," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Spr, pages 52-65.
  26. Martin Feldstein, 1991. "Introduction to "The Risk of Economic Crisis"," NBER Chapters, in: The Risk of Economic Crisis, pages 1-18 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Brimmer, Andrew F, 1989. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: Central Banking and Systemic Risks in Capital Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 3-16, Spring.
  28. Donald Hester, 1992. "Financial institutions and the collapse of real estate markets," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 36, pages 114-150.
  29. Keeley, Michael C, 1990. "Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1183-1200, December.
  30. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  31. Neil Wallace, 1988. "Another attempt to explain an illiquid banking system: the Diamond and Dybvig model with sequential service taken seriously," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 3-16.
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