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Risk, Leverage, and Regulation of Financial Intermediaries

  • Tianxi Wang


This paper presents a model on the leverage of financial intermediaries, where debt are held by risk averse agents and equity by the risk neutral. The paper shows that in an unregulated competitive market, financial intermediaries choose to be leveraged over the social best level. This is because the leverage of one intermediary imposes a negative externality upon others by reducing their profit margins. The paper thus founds capital adequacy regulation upon the market failure and suggests that this regulation should bind not only commercial banks, but all financial intermediaries, including private equities and hedge funds.

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Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 678.

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Date of creation: 03 Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:678
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Order Information: Postal: Discussion Papers Administrator, Department of Economics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, U.K.

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  2. Gennotte, Gerard & Pyle, David, 1991. "Capital controls and bank risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4-5), pages 805-824, September.
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  6. Besanko, David & Kanatas, George, 1996. "The Regulation of Bank Capital: Do Capital Standards Promote Bank Safety?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 160-183, April.
  7. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1999. "A Theory of Bank Capital," NBER Working Papers 7431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Flannery, Mark J., 1989. "Capital regulation and insured banks choice of individual loan default risks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 235-258, September.
  9. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
  10. Zhiguo He & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2008. "A Model of Capital and Crises," NBER Working Papers 14366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bhattacharya, S. & Boot, A.W.A. & Thakor, A.V., 1995. "The Economics of Bank Regulation," Papers 9516, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  12. 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.
  13. Stewart C. Myers, 2001. "Capital Structure," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 81-102, Spring.
  14. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "The prudential regulation of banks," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9539, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  15. 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.
  16. Stephen A. Ross, 1977. "The Determination of Financial Structure: The Incentive-Signalling Approach," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 23-40, Spring.
  17. John Geanakoplos & Ana Fostel, 2008. "Leverage Cycles and the Anxious Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1211-44, September.
  18. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  19. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  20. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
  21. 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.
  22. Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Financial intermediary leverage and value at risk," Staff Reports 338, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  23. Furlong, Frederick T. & Keeley, Michael C., 1989. "Capital regulation and bank risk-taking: A note," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 883-891, December.
  24. 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.
  25. Kim, Daesik & Santomero, Anthony M, 1988. " Risk in Banking and Capital Regulation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1219-33, December.
  26. Frederick T. Furlong & Michael C. Keeley, 1991. "Capital regulation and bank risk-taking: a note (reprinted from Journal of Banking and Finance)," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sum, pages 34-39.
  27. Merton, Robert C., 1977. "An analytic derivation of the cost of deposit insurance and loan guarantees An application of modern option pricing theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-11, June.
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