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Deflation Caused by Bank Insolvency

  • Keiichiro Kobayashi

The Japanese economy has suffered from persistent deflation since the mid-1990s, when the banking system fell into serious undercapitalization. In Germany and in China, worries about impending deflation have emerged, along with fear of prospective or hidden bank insolvency. In this paper I present a simple model in which bank insolvency causes deflation. During a period of bank insolvency, bank deposits in excess of bank assets continue to exist if the government (implicitly) guarantees them. I assume that bank deposits cannot exceed a certain multiple of the monetary base and that the government is prohibited to expand fiscal expenditures. A government that guarantees unbacked bank deposits without recapitalizing an insolvent banking system is forced to set the nominal interest rate at zero and to let the price level fall.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 03022.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:03022
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  1. John H. Boyd & Pedro Gomis-Porqueras & Sungkyu Kwak & Bruce David Smith, 2014. "A User's Guide to Banking Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 800-892, November.
  2. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1995. "Inside money, outside money and short term interest rates," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Auerbach, Alan J. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 2012. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt84s7d8c8, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Dekle, Robert & Kletzer, Kenneth, 2003. "The Japanese Banking Crisis and Economic Growth: Theoretical and Empirical Implications of Deposit Guarantees and Weak Financial Regulation," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt0t6321ds, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  5. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  6. Bruce D. Smith, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Banking Crises, and the Friedman Rule," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 128-134, May.
  7. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 9968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Keiichiro Kobayashi, 2003. "A Theory of Banking Crises (Part 1)," Discussion papers 03016, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  9. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
  10. Barseghyan, Levon, 2010. "Non-performing loans, prospective bailouts, and Japan's slowdown," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 873-890, October.
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