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How Central Banks End Crises

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  • Gary B. Gorton

    () (Yale School of Management, National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Guillermo L. Ordoñez

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, National Bureau of Economic Research)

Abstract

To end a financial crisis, the central bank is to lend freely, against good collateral, at a high rate, according to Bagehot’s Rule. We argue that in theory and in practice there is a missing ingredient to Bagehot’s Rule: secrecy. Re-creating confidence requires that the central bank lend in secret, hiding the identities of the borrowers, to prevent information about individual collateral from being produced and to create an information externality by raising the perceived value of average collateral. Ironically, the participation of "bad" borrowers, with low quality collateral, in the central bank’s lending program is a desirable part of re-creating confidence because it creates stigma. Stigma is critical to sustain secrecy because no borrower wants to reveal his participation in the lending program, and it is limited by the central bank charging a high rate for its loans.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary B. Gorton & Guillermo L. Ordoñez, 2014. "How Central Banks End Crises," PIER Working Paper Archive 14-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:14-025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anne-Marie Rieu-Foucault, 2017. "Point sur la fourniture de liquidié publique," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-27, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central Bank; Discount Window; Financial Crisis; Confidence;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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