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Bank Deregulation, Credit Markets and the Control of Capital

  • G. B. Gorton
  • J. G. Haubrich

A model with endogenously arising credit markets and banks is displayed. The model economy requires both types of institutions because they serve to control capital in different, yet complementary, ways. The value of credit market securities depends upon bank control of capital which markets cannot achieve. As regulations and technology change, the decision rules and contracts change, and the financial system creates new institutions, markets and assets. Since the model is at the level of underlying preferences and technology it can be used to consider the optimality of banking regulations when the underlying technology of controlling capital shifts. We show that, whatever the merits of the original arguments for bank regulation, with technological change bank regulation may become self-justifying. That is, we show that under plausible conditions the only reason bank regulation is needed is that it currently exists. Moreover, bank regulation can cause the very bank failures it purports to prevent. Bank regulators observing the world would erroneously argue for more bank regulations, including FDIC insurance, when this is, in fact, unnecessary.

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Paper provided by Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research in its series Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers with number 8-86.

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Handle: RePEc:fth:pennfi:8-86
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