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Optimal Capital Requirements over the Business and Financial Cycles

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  • Frederic Malherbe

    (London Business School)

Abstract

I propose a simple theory of intertwined business and financial cycles, where financial regulation both optimally responds to and influences the cycles. In this model, banks do not internalize the effect of their credit expansion on other banks' expected bankruptcy costs, which leads to excessive aggregate lending. In response, the regulator sets a capital requirement to trade off expected output against financial stability. The capital requirement that ensures investment efficiency depends on the state of the economy and, because of a general equilibrium effect, its stringency increases with aggregate banking capital. A regulation that fails to take this effect into account would exacerbate economic fluctuations and result in excessive aggregate lending during a boom. It would also allow for an excessive build-up of risk in the financial sector, which implies that, at the peak of a boom, even a small adverse shock could trigger a banking sector collapse, followed by an excessively severe credit crunch.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederic Malherbe, 2015. "Optimal Capital Requirements over the Business and Financial Cycles," 2015 Meeting Papers 1154, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed015:1154
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    More about this item

    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
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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