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Books vs. Fair Value Accounting in Banking, and Intertemporal Smoothing

  • Dimitrios P Tsomocos
  • Xavier Freixas

The aim of this paper is to examine the pros and cons of book and fair value accounting from the perspective of the theory of banking. We consider the implications of the two accounting methods in an overlapping generations environment. As observed by Allen and Gale (1997), in an overlapping generation model, banks have a role as intergenerational connectors as they allow for intertemporal smoothing. Our main result is that when dividends depend on profits, book value ex ante dominates fair value, as it provides better intertemporal smoothing. This is in contrast with the standard view that states that, fair value yields a better allocation as it reflects the real opportunity cost of assets. Banking regulation play an important role by providing the right incentives for banks to smooth intertemporal consumption whereas market discipline improves intratemporal efficiency.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 2004-FE-13.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2004-fe-13
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  1. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1995. "Financial markets, intermediaries, and intertemporal smoothing," Working Papers 95-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
  3. Qi, Jianping, 1994. "Bank Liquidity and Stability in an Overlapping Generations Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 389-417.
  4. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Paolo Fulghieri & Riccardo Rovelli, 1998. "Financial Intermediation Versus Stock Markets in a Dynamic Intertemporal Model," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(1), pages 291-, March.
  5. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  6. Philippe Aghion, Patrick Bolton & Steven Fries, 1999. "Optimal Design of Bank Bailouts: The Case of Transition Economies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(1), pages 51-, March.
  7. Andrea Enria & Lorenzo Cappiello & Frank Dierick & Sergio Grittini & Andrew Haralambous & Angela Maddaloni & Philippe Molitor & Fatima Pires & Paolo Poloni, 2004. "Fair value accounting and financial stability," Occasional Paper Series 13, European Central Bank.
  8. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
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