Bank Capital and Uncertainty
An important role for bank capital is that of a buffer against unexpected losses. As uncertainty about these losses increases, the theory predicts an increase in the optimal level of bank capital. This paper investigates this implication empirically with U.S. Commercial Banks data and finds statistically significant and robust evidence supporting it. A counterfactual experiment suggests that a decline in uncertainty to the lowest level measured in the sample generates an average reduction in bank capital ratios of slightly over 1 percentage point. However, I also find suggestive evidence that the intensity of this precautionary motive is stronger during recessions. From a policy perspective, these results suggest that the effectiveness of countercyclical capital requirements during bad times will be undermined by banks desire to hold more capital in response to increased uncertainty.
|Date of creation:||01 Sep 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 623-7000
Fax: (202) 623-4661
Web page: http://www.imf.org/external/pubind.htmEmail:
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/pubs/ord_info.htm|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fabian Valencia, 2008. "Banks' Precautionary Capital and Credit Crunches," IMF Working Papers 08/248, International Monetary Fund.
- Skander Van den Heuvel, 2006. "The Bank Capital Channel of Monetary Policy," 2006 Meeting Papers 512, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- John Geanakoplos & Ana Fostel, 2008. "Leverage Cycles and the Anxious Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1211-44, September.
- Peura, Samu & Jokivuolle, Esa, 2004. "Simulation based stress tests of banks' regulatory capital adequacy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1801-1824, August.
- Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2008.
"Financial intermediaries, financial stability, and monetary policy,"
346, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Shin, Hyun Song & Adrian, Tobias, 2008. "Financial intermediaries, financial stability and monetary policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 287-334.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/208. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Beardow)or (Hassan Zaidi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.