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Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk-Taking

  • Giovanni Dell'Ariccia
  • Robert Marquez
  • Luc Laeven

We provide a theoretical foundation for the claim that prolonged periods of easy monetary conditions increase bank risk taking. The net effect of a monetary policy change on bank monitoring (an inverse measure of risk taking) depends on the balance of three forces: interest rate pass-through, risk shifting, and leverage. When banks can adjust their capital structures, a monetary easing leads to greater leverage and lower monitoring. However, if a bank's capital structure is fixed, the balance depends on the degree of bank capitalization: when facing a policy rate cut, well capitalized banks decrease monitoring, while highly levered banks increase it. Further, the balance of these effects depends on the structure and contestability of the banking industry, and is therefore likely to vary across countries and over time.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/276.

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Length: 36
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/276
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  1. Michael R. Roberts & Mark T. Leary, 2004. "Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 52, Econometric Society.
  2. Xavier Freixas & Antoine Martin & David Skeie, 2010. "Bank liquidity, interbank markets and monetary policy," Economics Working Papers 1202, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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  5. Cordella, Tito & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2003. "Bank bailouts: moral hazard vs. value effect," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 300-330, October.
  6. Jiménez, Gabriel & Ongena, Steven & Peydró, José Luis & Saurina, Jesús, 2007. "Hazardous Times for Monetary Policy: What Do Twenty-Three Million Bank Loans Say About the Effects of Monetary Policy on Credit Risk?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Mitchell Berlin & Loretta J. Mester, 1998. "Deposits and relationship lending," Working Papers 98-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Angela Maddaloni & Jose-Luis Peydro, 2011. "Bank Risk-taking, Securitization, Supervision, and Low Interest Rates: Evidence from the Euro-area and the U.S. Lending Standards," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2121-2165.
  9. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2006. "Competition among regulators and credit market integration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 401-430, February.
  10. Altunbas, Yener & Gambacorta, Leonardo & Marqués-Ibáñez, David, 2010. "Does monetary policy affect bank risk-taking?," Working Paper Series 1166, European Central Bank.
  11. Ioannidou, V. & Ongena, S. & Peydro, J.L., 2009. "Monetary Policy, Risk-Taking, and Pricing : Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," Discussion Paper 2009-31 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Bernhard Eckwert & Burkhard Drees & Felix Vardy, 2011. "Cheap Money and Risk Taking: Opacity versus Underlying Risk," EcoMod2011 2782, EcoMod.
  13. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Risk and the Corporate Structure of Banks," IMF Working Papers 10/40, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "Illiquidity and Interest Rate Policy," NBER Working Papers 15197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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