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Bad Banks: The Case of Germany


  • Cordelius Ilgmann
  • Ulrich van Suntum


This paper discusses the instrument of equalisation claims, which has successfully been used in two previous German debt crises as a method for stabilizing the balance sheets of financial institutions. A modern version of this method would swap temporarily illiquid assets for government bonds with open maturit, in order to avoid the problem of evaluating the toxic assets in advance. Not only will this method save taxpayers' money, but it also upholds the market principle of liability, thereby avoiding incentives for inefficient risk-prone behaviour in the financial sector. The current German bad bank approach principally follows this approach, but severely suffers from unnecessary complexity and voluntary participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Cordelius Ilgmann & Ulrich van Suntum, "undated". "Bad Banks: The Case of Germany," Working Papers 200110, Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary.
  • Handle: RePEc:muc:wpaper:200110

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael D. Bordo, 1989. "The Lender of Last Resort: Some Historical Insights," NBER Working Papers 3011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 466-472, May.
    3. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 2008. "Crisis and Responses: the Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008," NBER Working Papers 14134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Felton, Andrew & Reinhart, Carmen M. (ed.), 2009. "The First Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century Part II: June–December, 2008," Vox eBooks, Centre for Economic Policy Research, number p199.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
    6. Michael D. Bordo, 2008. "An Historical Perspective on the Crisis of 2007-2008," NBER Working Papers 14569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. João A. C. Santos, 2006. "Insuring Banks Against Liquidity Shocks: The Role of Deposit Insurance and Lending of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 459-482, July.
    8. James Crotty, 2009. "Structural causes of the global financial crisis: a critical assessment of the 'new financial architecture'," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 563-580, July.
    9. Charles Calomiris & Joseph R. Mason, 2003. "How to Restructure Failed Banking Systems: Lessons from the U.S. in the 1930's and Japan in the 1990's," NBER Working Papers 9624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. L. Randall Wray, 2009. "The rise and fall of money manager capitalism: a Minskian approach," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 807-828, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Malte Tobias Kähler, 2011. "From German Rules to European Discretion: Policy’s Slippery Slope," Chapters,in: Institutions in Crisis, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Tanja Markovic-Hribernik & Matej Tomec, 2015. "Bad Bank And Other Possible Banks’ Rescuing Models – The Case Of Slovenia," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1, pages 128-141, January.

    More about this item


    Financial Crisis; Bad Banks; German History; equalisation claims;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-


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