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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, 2005. "Crises and Capital Requirements in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1548-1572, December.
    2. Morrison, Alan & White, Lucy, 2004. "Crises and Capital Requirements in Banking," CEPR Discussion Papers 4364, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Philipp Hartmann & Stefan Straetmans & Casper de Vries, 2007. "Banking System Stability. A Cross-Atlantic Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: The Risks of Financial Institutions, pages 133-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Gary Gorton, 2009. "Information, Liquidity, and the (Ongoing) Panic of 2007," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 567-72, May.
    6. Xavier Freixas & Antoine Martin & David Skeie, 2010. "Bank Liquidity, Interbank Markets and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 429, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    7. Edward J. Kane, 1989. "How Incentive-Incompatible Deposit-Insurance Funds Fail," NBER Working Papers 2836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena & Gale, Douglas, 2009. "Interbank market liquidity and central bank intervention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 639-652, July.
    9. Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio, 2011. "Assessing financial contagion in the interbank market: Maximum entropy versus observed interbank lending patterns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1114-1127, May.
    10. 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.
    11. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    12. Viral V. Acharya, 2003. "Is the International Convergence of Capital Adequacy Regulation Desirable?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2745-2782, December.
    13. Charles M. Kahn & João A. C. Santos, 2001. "Allocating bank regulatory powers: lender of last resort, deposit insurance and supervision," BIS Working Papers 102, Bank for International Settlements.
    14. 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.
    15. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Interbank lending and systemic risk," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 733-765.
    16. 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.
    17. Morrison, Alan & White, Lucy, 2004. "Is Deposit Insurance A Good Thing, And If So, Who Should Pay for It?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4424, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. 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.
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