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Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk Taking

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/276
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  1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  2. Xavier Freixas & Antoine Martin & David Skeie, 2011. "Bank Liquidity, Interbank Markets, and Monetary Policy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(8), pages 2656-2692.
  3. Yener Altunbas & Leonardo Gambacorta & David Marques-Ibanez, 2010. "Does monetary policy affect bank risk-taking?," BIS Working Papers 298, Bank for International Settlements.
  4. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J, 1999. "Deposits and Relationship Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(3), pages 579-607.
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  7. Vasso Ioannidou & Steven Ongena & José-Luis Peydró, 2015. "Monetary Policy, Risk-Taking, and Pricing: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(1), pages 95-144.
  8. Matutes, Carmen & Vives, Xavier, 2000. "Imperfect competition, risk taking, and regulation in banking," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-34, January.
  9. Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2005. "Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2575-2619, December.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Robert Marquez, 2010. "Risk and the Corporate Structure of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 1075-1096, 06.
  13. Bernhard Eckwert & Burkhard Drees & Felix Vardy, 2011. "Cheap Money and Risk Taking: Opacity versus Underlying Risk," EcoMod2011 2782, EcoMod.
  14. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "Illiquidity and Interest Rate Policy," NBER Working Papers 15197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Jiminez, G. & Ongena, S. & Saurina, J., 2007. "Hazardous Times for Monetary Policy : What do Twenty-three Million Bank Loans Say about the Effects of Monetary Policy on Credit Risk?," Discussion Paper 2007-75, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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