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Mandatory Disclosure and Financial Contagion

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  • Gadi Barlevy

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

  • Fernando Alvarez

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

The paper analyzes the welfare implications of mandatory disclosure of losses at financial institutions when it is common knowledge that some banks have incurred losses but not which ones. We develop a model that features "contagion," meaning that banks not hit by shocks may still suffer losses because of their exposure to banks that are. In addition, banks in our model have protable investment projects that require outside funding, but which banks will only undertake if they have enough equity. Investors thus value information about which banks were hit by shocks. We find that when the extent of contagion is large, it is possible for no information to be disclosed in equilibrium but for mandatory disclosure to increase welfare by allowing investment that would not have occurred otherwise. Absent contagion, however, mandatory disclosure will not raise welfare, even if markets are otherwise frozen. Our findings provide insight on when contagion is likely to be a concern, e.g. when banks are highly leveraged against other banks, and thus on when mandatory disclosure is likely to be desirable.

Suggested Citation

  • Gadi Barlevy & Fernando Alvarez, 2014. "Mandatory Disclosure and Financial Contagion," 2014 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:115
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    Cited by:

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    2. Goncharenko, Roman & Hledik, Juraj & Pinto, Roberto, 2018. "The dark side of stress tests: Negative effects of information disclosure," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 49-59.
    3. Fernandes, Marcelo & Igan, Deniz & Pinheiro, Marcelo, 2020. "March madness in Wall Street: (What) does the market learn from stress tests?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    4. Ana Babus & Maryam farboodi, 2019. "The Hidden Costs of Strategic Opacity," 2019 Meeting Papers 1508, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Elliott, Matthew & Georg, Co-Pierre & Hazell, Jonathon, 2021. "Systemic risk shifting in financial networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    6. Goldstein, Itay & Leitner, Yaron, 2018. "Stress tests and information disclosure," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 34-69.
    7. Roberto Robatto, 2019. "Systemic Banking Panics, Liquidity Risk, and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 34, pages 20-42, October.
    8. Julien Hugonnier & Benjamin Lester & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2020. "Frictional Intermediation in Over-the-Counter Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 1432-1469.
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    10. Pacicco, Fausto & Vena, Luigi & Venegoni, Andrea, 2020. "Communication and financial supervision: How does disclosure affect market stability?," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-15.
    11. Orlov, Dmitry & Zryumov, Pavel & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2017. "Design of Macro-prudential Stress Tests," Research Papers 3548, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    12. François Guillemin & Hervé Alexandre & Catherine Refait-Alexandre, 2015. "Downgrades of sovereign credit ratings and impact on banks CDS spread: does disclosure by banks improve stability?," Post-Print hal-01622782, HAL.
    13. Jungherr, Joachim, 2018. "Bank opacity and financial crises," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 157-176.
    14. João Granja, 2018. "Disclosure Regulation in the Commercial Banking Industry: Lessons from the National Banking Era," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 173-216, March.
    15. Ryuichiro Izumi, 2021. "Opacity: Insurance and Fragility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 40, pages 146-169, April.
    16. Roukny, Tarik & Battiston, Stefano & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2018. "Interconnectedness as a source of uncertainty in systemic risk," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 93-106.
    17. Gary Gorton & Guillermo Ordoñez, 2020. "Fighting Crises with Secrecy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 218-245, October.
    18. Lopomo Beteto Wegner, Danilo, 2020. "Liquidity policies and financial fragility," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 135-153.
    19. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Inattention to Rare Events," CEPR Discussion Papers 8626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Ramírez, Carlos, 2020. "Regulating financial networks under uncertainty," ESRB Working Paper Series 107, European Systemic Risk Board.

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    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation

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