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Risk Taking, Limited Liability and the Competition of Bank Regulators

  • Hans-Werner Sinn

Limited liability and asymmetric information between an investment bank and its lenders provide an incentive for a bank to undercapitalise and finance overly risky business projects. To counter this market failure, national governments have imposed solvency constraints on banks. However, these constraints may not survive in systems competition, as systems competition is likely to suffer from the same type of information asymmetry which induced the private market failure and which brought in the government in the first place (Selection Principle). As national solvency regulation creates a positive international policy externality on foreign lenders of domestic banks, there will be an undersupply of such regulation. This may explain why Asian banks were undercapitalised and took excessive risks before the banking crisis emerged.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8669.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Publication status: published as Hans-Werner Sinn, 2002. "Risktaking, Limited Liability, and the Competition of Bank Regulators," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(3), pages 305-, August.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8669
Note: ME PE
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  1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1980. "Ökonomische Entscheidungen bei Ungewißheit," Monograph, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, number urn:isbn:9783169427024, May.
  2. Edward J. Kane, 2000. "Capital Movements, Banking Insolvency, and Silent Runs in the Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 7514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Charles W. Calomiris & Andrew Powell, 2000. "Can Emerging Market Bank Regulators Establish Credible Discipline? The Case of Argentina, 1992-1999," NBER Working Papers 7715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bester,Helmut Hellwig,Martin, 1987. "Moral hazard and equilibrium credit rationing: An overview of the issues," Discussion Paper Serie A 125, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Kenneth Kletzer & Robert Dekle, 2001. "Domestic Bank Regulation and Financial Crises; Theory and Empirical Evidence From East Asia," IMF Working Papers 01/63, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Sheila C Dow, 1995. "Why the Banking System Should be Regulated," Working Papers Series 95/15, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  7. Hyman P. Minsky, 1992. "The Financial Instability Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_74, Levy Economics Institute.
  8. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis? Part II: The Policy Debate," NBER Working Papers 6834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rudi Dornbusch, 2002. "The New International Architecture," CESifo Working Paper Series 769, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  11. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "The selection principle and market failure in systems competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 19854, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1986. "Risiko als Produktionsfaktor," Munich Reprints in Economics 19879, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
  14. Christian Gollier & Pierre-François Koehl & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1996. "Risk-Taking Behavior with Limited Liability and Risk Aversion," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-13, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1982. "Kinked utility and the demand for human wealth and liability insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 149-162.
  16. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  17. Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1992. "Capital requirements and the behaviour of commercial banks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1137-1170, June.
  18. Modigliani, Franco, 1982. " Debt, Dividend Policy, Taxes, Inflation and Market Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(2), pages 255-73, May.
  19. Blum, Jurg & Hellwig, Martin, 1995. "The macroeconomic implications of capital adequacy requirements for banks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 739-749, April.
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