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The Lender of Last Resort: A 21th Century Approach

  • Freixas, Xavier
  • Parigi, Bruno
  • Rochet, Jean-Charles

The object of this paper is to analyze rigorously the role of a Lender of Last Resort by providing a framework where the distinction between insolvency and illiquidity is not clearly cut. Determining the optimal Lender of Last Resort policy requires a careful modeling of the structure of the interbank market and of the closure policy. In our set up, the results depend upon the existence of moral hazard. If the main source of moral hazard is the banks’ lack of incentives to screen loans, then the Lender of Last Resort may have to intervene to improve the e¢ciency of an unsecured interbank market; if instead, the main source of moral hazard is loans monitoring, then the interbank market should be secured and the Lender of Last Resort should never intervene.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 215.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Journal of the European Economic Association, vol.�2, n°6, décembre 2004, p.�1085-1115.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:594
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  1. Gorton, Gary & Huang, Lixin, 2006. "Bank panics and the endogeneity of central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1613-1629, October.
  2. Luigi Zingales & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2003. "Banks and Markets: The Changing Character of European Finance," NBER Working Papers 9595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1991. "Information Sharing in Credit Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 579, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Rafael Repullo, 2000. "Who should act as lender of last resort? an incomplete contracts model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 580-610.
  7. Philippe Aghion, Patrick Bolton & Steven Fries, 1999. "Optimal Design of Bank Bailouts: The Case of Transition Economies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(1), pages 51-, March.
  8. George A. Akerlof & Paul M. Romer, 1993. "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 1-74.
  9. Padoa-Schioppa, Tommaso, 1999. "EMU and Banking Supervision," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 295-308, July.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521788885 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. X. Freixas & B. Parigi & J-C. Rochet, 2000. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations and Liquidity Provision by theCentral Bank," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 47, Netherlands Central Bank.
  12. Furfine, Craig, 2001. "The reluctance to borrow from the Fed," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 209-213, August.
  13. Charles M. Kahn & João A. C. Santos, 2001. "Allocating bank regulatory powers: lender of last resort, deposit insurance and supervision," BIS Working Papers 102, Bank for International Settlements.
  14. Furfine, Craig H, 2001. "Banks as Monitors of Other Banks: Evidence from the Overnight Federal Funds Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 33-57, January.
  15. Leonardo Bartolini & Alessandro Prati, 2003. "The execution of monetary policy: a tale of two central banks," Staff Reports 165, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  16. Mitchell, Janet, 2001. "Bad Debts and the Cleaning of Banks' Balance Sheets: An Application to Transition Economies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 1-27, January.
  17. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521783248 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2002. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-3, January.
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