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Liquidity Shortages and Banking Crises

  • Douglas W. Diamond
  • Raghuram G. Rajan

Banks can fail either because they are insolvent or because an aggregate shortage of liquidity can render them insolvent. We show that bank failures can themselves cause liquidity shortages. The failure of some banks can then lead to a cascade of failures and a possible total meltdown of the system. Contagion here is not caused by contractual or informational links between banks but because bank failure could lead to a contraction in the common pool of liquidity. There is a possible role for government intervention. Unfortunately, liquidity problems and solvency problems interact, and can each cause the other. It is therefore hard to determine the root cause of a crisis from observable factors. The practical difficulty of determining the most appropriate intervention, as well as the costs of the wrong kind of intervention (such as infusing capital when the need is for liquidity) have to be traded off against the costs of a meltdown, which can be substantial. We propose a robust sequence of intervention.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8937.

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Date of creation: May 2002
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Publication status: published as Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2005. "Liquidity Shortages and Banking Crises," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 615-647, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8937
Note: CF EFG IFM ME
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  1. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," Working papers 95-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1999. "Liquidity Risk, Liquidity Creation and Financial Fragility: A Theory of Banking," NBER Working Papers 7430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  4. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Bank Bailouts and Aggregate Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 38-41, May.
  5. Qi, Jianping, 1998. "Deposit Liquidity and Bank Monitoring," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 198-218, April.
  6. Donaldson, R. Glen, 1992. "Costly liquidation, interbank trade, bank runs and panics," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 59-82, March.
  7. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2000. "Banks, Short Term Debt and Financial Crises: Theory, Policy Implications and Applications," NBER Working Papers 7764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, . "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 11-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  9. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Paradox of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2001. "Banks and Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 422-425, May.
  11. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 1998. "Emerging Market Crises: An Asset Markets Perspective," Working papers 98-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Holmstrom, B & Tirole, J, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Working papers 96-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Debt Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 709-37, August.
  14. Hellwig, Martin, 1994. "Liquidity provision, banking, and the allocation of interest rate risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1363-1389, August.
  15. Jacklin, Charles J & Bhattacharya, Sudipto, 1988. "Distinguishing Panics and Information-Based Bank Runs: Welfare and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 568-92, June.
  16. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1999. "A Theory of Bank Capital," NBER Working Papers 7431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Goodfriend, M. & King, R.G., 1988. "Financial Deregulation, Monetary Policy, And Central Banking," RCER Working Papers 121, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  18. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 3906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1998. "Optimal Financial Crises," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1245-1284, 08.
  20. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
  21. Moore, John Hardman, 2009. "Money and Liquidity," SIRE Focus Papers 2009-01, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  22. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
  23. Anil K. Kashyap & Raghuram Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Banks as Liquidity Providers: An Explanation for the Coexistence of Lending and Deposit-Taking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 33-73, 02.
  24. Diamond, Douglas-W, 2001. "Should Japanese Banks Be Recapitalized?," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(2), pages 1-19, May.
  25. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1998. "Financial Contagion Journal of Political Economy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-31, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  26. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2003. "Money in a Theory of Banking," NBER Working Papers 10070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
  28. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  29. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
  30. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2000. "International Liquidity Management: Sterilization Policy in Illiquid Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 7740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Douglas W. Diamond, . "Liquidity, Banks and Markets," CRSP working papers 326, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  32. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. " Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-400, September.
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