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Reputational contagion and optimal regulatory forbearance

  • Morrison, Alan D.
  • White, Lucy
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    This paper examines common regulation as cause of interbank contagion. Studies based on the correlation of bank assets and the extent of interbank lending may underestimate the likelihood of contagion because they do not incorporate the fact that banks have a common regulator. In our model, the failure of one bank can undermine the public’s confidence in the competence of the banking regulator, and hence in other banks chartered by the same regulator. Thus depositors may withdraw funds from their, unconnected, banks. The optimal regulatory response to this ‘panic’ behaviour can be to privately exhibit forbearance to the initially failing bank in the hope that it - and hence other vulnerable banks - survives. By contrast, public bailouts are ineffective in preventing panics and must be bolstered by other measures such as increased deposit insurance coverage. Regulatory transparency improves confidence ex ante but impedes regulators’ ability to stem panics ex post. JEL Classification: G21, G28

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    File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1196.pdf
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    Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1196.

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    Date of creation: May 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101196
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    1. Alan D. Morrison & Lucy White, 2004. "Is Deposit Insurance a Good Thing, and If So, Who Should Pay for It?," OFRC Working Papers Series 2004fe08, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
    2. Kahn, Charles M. & Santos, Joao A.C., 2005. "Allocating bank regulatory powers: Lender of last resort, deposit insurance and supervision," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2107-2136, November.
    3. Joshua Coval & Jakub Jurek & Erik Stafford, 2009. "The Economics of Structured Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 3-25, Winter.
    4. Xavier Freixas & Antoine Martin & David Skeie, 2009. "Bank liquidity, interbank markets, and monetary policy," Staff Reports 371, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Morrison, Alan & White, Lucy, 2004. "Crises and Capital Requirements in Banking," CEPR Discussion Papers 4364, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Edward J. Kane, 1989. "How Incentive-Incompatible Deposit-Insurance Funds Fail," NBER Working Papers 2836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Franklin Allen & Elena Carletti & Douglas Gale, 2009. "Interbank Market Liquidity and Central Bank Intervention," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/09, European University Institute.
    8. Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2007. "Assessing financial contagion in the interbank market: Maximum entropy versus observed interbank lending patterns," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 641, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    9. Hans Degryse & Grégory Nguyen, 2007. "Interbank Exposures: An Empirical Examination of Contagion Risk in the Belgian Banking System," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(2), pages 123-171, June.
    10. Acharya, Viral V, 2002. "Is the International Convergence of Capital Adequacy Regulation Desirable?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3253, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. 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.
    12. Acharya, Viral V & Shin, Hyun Song & Yorulmazer, Tanju, 2009. "A Theory of Slow-Moving Capital and Contagion," CEPR Discussion Papers 7147, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-79, June.
    14. Alan D. Morrison & Lucy White, 2009. "Level Playing Fields in International Financial Regulation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1099-1142, 06.
    15. Reint Gropp & Marco Lo Duca & Jukka Vesala, 2007. "Cross-Border Bank Contagion in Europe," Working Paper Series: Finance and Accounting 175, Department of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.
    16. Alan D. Morrison & Lucy White, 2005. "Crises and Capital Requirements in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1548-1572, December.
    17. Hartmann, Philipp & Straetmans, Stefan & de Vries, Casper, 2005. "Banking system stability: a cross-Atlantic perspective," Working Paper Series 0527, European Central Bank.
    18. Gary B. Gorton, 2009. "Information, Liquidity, and the (Ongoing) Panic of 2007," NBER Working Papers 14649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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