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Capital Regulation after the Crisis: Business as Usual?

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  • Martin Hellwig

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

The paper discusses the reform of capital regulation of banks in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007/2009. Whereas the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision seems to go for marginal changes here and there, the paper calls for a thorough overhaul, moving away from risk calibration and raising capital requirements very substantially. The argument is based on the observation that the current system of risk-calibrated capital requirements, in particular under the model-based approach, played a key role in allowing banks to be undercapitalized prior to the crisis, with strong systemic effects for deleveraging multipliers and for the functioning of interbank markets. The argument is also based on the observation that the current system has no theoretical foundation, its objectives are ill-specified, and its effects have not been thought through, either for the individual bank or for the system as a whole. Objections to substantial increases in capital requirements rest on arguments that run counter to economic logic or are themselves evidence of moral hazard and a need for regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Hellwig, 2010. "Capital Regulation after the Crisis: Business as Usual?," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_31, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2010_31
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin Hellwig, 2009. "Systemic Risk in the Financial Sector: An Analysis of the Subprime-Mortgage Financial Crisis," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(2), pages 129-207, June.
    2. Hellwig, Martin F, 1981. "Bankruptcy, Limited Liability, and the Modigliani-Miller Theorem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 155-170, March.
    3. Blum, Jurg, 1999. "Do capital adequacy requirements reduce risks in banking?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 755-771, May.
    4. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A Re-Examination of the Modigliani-Miller Theorem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 784-793, December.
    5. Miller, Merton H., 1995. "Do the M & M propositions apply to banks?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 483-489, June.
    6. Martin Hellwig & Markus Straub, 1996. "Capital Requirements for Market Risks Based on Inhouse Models - Aspects of Quality Assessment," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 132(IV), pages 755-776, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial crisis; Basel Accord; banking regulation; capital requirements; modelbased approach; systemic risk;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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