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Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk Taking

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  • Giovanni Dell'Ariccia
  • Robert Marquez
  • Luc Laeven

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Robert Marquez & Luc Laeven, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk Taking," IMF Working Papers 10/276, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/276
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central banks and their policies; Banking crises; Monetary policy; leverage; risk taking; bank risk; banking; bank monitoring; bank risk taking; Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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