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The Safer, the Riskier: A Model of Financial Instability and Bank Leverage

  • Ryo Kato
  • Takayuki Tsuruga

We examine the role of bank leverage to explain why the 2007-08 financial crisis unfolded at a time when the economy appears to be less fragile to crisis risks. To this end, we extend the model introduced by Diamond and Rajan (2012) to a variant where the probability of financial crises varies endogenously. In our model, aggregate liquidity shock plays a key role in precipitating a crisis because high liquidity demand in a highly leveraged banking system is likely to expose the economy to greater crisis risks. We consider an example of a “safe” environment where liquidity demand tends to be low on average. Using numerical analysis, we show that the “safer” environment could incentivize banks to raise their leverage, resulting in a banking system that is more vulnerable to liquidity shocks.

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File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2014-03/26_2014_kato_tsuruga.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2014-26.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2014-26
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  13. Ryo Kato & Takayuki Tsuruga, 2012. "Bank Overleverage and Macroeconomic Fragility," Discussion papers e-12-002, Graduate School of Economics Project Center, Kyoto University, revised Mar 2013.
  14. Gertler, Mark & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Queralto, Albert, 2012. "Financial crises, bank risk exposure and government financial policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages S17-S34.
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  16. Amil Dasgupta, 2004. "Financial Contagion Through Capital Connections: A Model of the Origin and Spread of Bank Panics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1049-1084, December.
  17. Luc Laeven & Fabián Valencia, 2013. "Systemic Banking Crises Database," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 61(2), pages 225-270, June.
  18. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2012. "Illiquid Banks, Financial Stability, and Interest Rate Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 552 - 591.
  19. Maddaloni, Angela & Peydró, José-Luis, 2010. "Bank risk-taking, securitization, supervision and low interest rates: Evidence from the euro area and the U.S. lending standards," Working Paper Series 1248, European Central Bank.
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  22. Gary B. Gorton & Andrew Metrick, 2012. "Who Ran on Repo?," NBER Working Papers 18455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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