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Reputational contagion and optimal regulatory forbearance

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  • Morrison, Alan D.
  • White, Lucy

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Morrison, Alan D. & White, Lucy, 2010. "Reputational contagion and optimal regulatory forbearance," Working Paper Series 1196, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101196
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    File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1196.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, June.
    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. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Xavier Freixas & Antoine Martin & David Skeie, 2011. "Bank Liquidity, Interbank Markets, and Monetary Policy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(8), pages 2656-2692.
    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. 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.
    10. Gary Gorton, 2009. "Information, Liquidity, and the (Ongoing) Panic of 2007," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 567-572, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Reint Gropp & Marco Lo Duca & Jukka Vesala, 2009. "Cross-Border Bank Contagion in Europe," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 5(1), pages 97-139, March.
    13. Lucy White & Alan D. Morrison, 2002. "Crises and Capital Requirements in Banking," OFRC Working Papers Series 2002fe05, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
    14. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-479, June.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Beatty, Anne & Liao, Scott, 2014. "Financial accounting in the banking industry: A review of the empirical literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 339-383.
    2. Lorenzo Sasso, 2016. "Bank Capital Structure and Financial Innovation: Antagonists or Two Sides of the Same Coin?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 66/LAW/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank Regulation; Contagion; Reputation;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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