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Bailouts, the Incentive to Manage Risk, and Financial Crises

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  • Stavros Panageas

Abstract

A firm's termination leads to bankruptcy costs. This may create an incentive for outside stakeholders or the firm's debtholders to bail out the firm as bankruptcy looms. Because of this implicit guarantee, firm shareholders have an incentive to increase volatility in order to exploit the implicit protection. However, if they increase volatility too much they may induce the guarantee-extending parties to "walk away". I derive the optimal risk management rule in such a framework and show that it allows high volatility choices, while net worth is high. However, risk limits tighten abruptly when the firm's net worth declines below an endogenously determined threshold. Hence, the model reproduces the qualitative features of existing risk management rules, and can account for phenomena such as "flight to quality".

Suggested Citation

  • Stavros Panageas, 2009. "Bailouts, the Incentive to Manage Risk, and Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 15058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15058
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    Cited by:

    1. Boubaker, Sabri & Nguyen, Pascal & Rouatbi, Wael, 2012. "Large shareholders and firm risk-taking behavior," MPRA Paper 39005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Kuersten, Wolfgang & Linde, Rainer, 2011. "Corporate hedging versus risk-shifting in financially constrained firms: The time-horizon matters!," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 502-525, June.
    3. Bálint L. Horváth & Harry Huizinga, 2015. "Does the European Financial Stability Facility Bail Out Sovereigns or Banks? An Event Study," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(1), pages 177-206, February.
    4. Priyank Gandhi & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "Size Anomalies in U.S. Bank Stock Returns: A Fiscal Explanation," NBER Working Papers 16553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Panageas, Stavros, 2010. "Optimal taxation in the presence of bailouts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 101-116, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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