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Real Interest Rates and the Savings and Loan Crisis: The Moral Hazard Premium

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  • John B. Shoven
  • Scott B. Smart
  • Joel Waldfogel

Abstract

Real interest rates rose to historically high levels in 1980 and remained high throughout the decade. Macroeconomists attribute this phenomenon to a combination of tight monetary policy, fiscal deficits, and variable inflation rates. This paper presents preliminary evidence for an additional explanation of high real rates that is related to the decade-long crisis in the savings and loan industry. Deposit insurance, moral hazard, and regulatory forbearance provide the incentives and the means for insolvent thrifts to issue liabilities that compete with Treasury securities in the market for funds. Thus, as the magnitude of the thrift crisis grew during the 1990s, so did pressure on Treasury yields. Even if the effect of the S&L crisis on interest rates is small, the increased cost of financing the public debt adds significantly to the total costs associated with the savings and loan fiasco.

Suggested Citation

  • John B. Shoven & Scott B. Smart & Joel Waldfogel, 1991. "Real Interest Rates and the Savings and Loan Crisis: The Moral Hazard Premium," NBER Working Papers 3754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3754
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ramon P. DeGennaro & James B. Thomson, 1992. "Capital forbearance and thrifts: an ex post examination of regulatory gambling," Working Paper 9209, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    2. Der-Yuan Yang, 1999. "A Cooperative Perspective On Sovereign Debt: Past And Present," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(1), pages 44-53, January.
    3. Harold M. Somers, 1992. "Deficits and Interest Rates," UCLA Economics Working Papers 645, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Russell W. Cooper & Jonathan L. Willis, 2010. "Coordination of expectations in the recent crisis: private actions and policy responses," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 5-39.
    5. Jorge A. Chan-Lau & Zhaohui Chen, 1998. "Financial Crisis and Credit Crunch as a Result of Inefficient Financial Intermediation—with Reference to the Asian Financial Crisis," International Finance 9804001, EconWPA, revised 22 Sep 1998.
    6. Edward J. Kane & Min-Teh Yu, 1994. "How Much Did Capital Forbearance Add to the Cost of the S&L Insurance Mess," NBER Working Papers 4701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:cup:jfinqa:v:52:y:2017:i:05:p:1797-1826_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Tzavalis, Elias & Wickens, M. R., 1996. "Forecasting inflation from the term structure," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 103-122, May.
    9. Bartholdy, Jan & Boyle, Glenn W. & Stover, Roger D., 2003. "Deposit insurance and the risk premium in bank deposit rates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 699-717, April.
    10. Hendricks, Torben W. & Kempa, Bernd, 2009. "The credit channel in U.S. economic history," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 58-68.
    11. Kane, Edward J. & Yu, Min-Teh, 1996. "Opportunity cost of capital forbearance during the final years of the FSLIC mess," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 271-290.
    12. Ben-David, Itzhak & Palvia, Ajay & Spatt, Chester, 2017. "Banks’ Internal Capital Markets and Deposit Rates," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(05), pages 1797-1826, October.
    13. Guo, Lin, 2003. "Inferring market information from the price and quantity of S&L deposits," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 2177-2202, November.
    14. Hendrickson, Jill M., 2000. "The impact of bank failures on local bank pricing decisions," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 401-416.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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