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Prudential Discipline for Financial Firms: Micro, Macro, and Market Structures

  • Wall, Larry D.

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

The recent global financial crisis reflects numerous breakdowns in the prudential discipline of financial firms. This paper discusses ways to strengthen micro- and macroprudential supervision and restore credible market discipline. The discussion notes that microprudential supervisors are typically assigned a variety of goals that sometimes have conflicting policy implications. In such a setting, the structure of the regulatory agencies and the priority given to prudential goals are critical to achieving those goals. The analysis of macroprudential supervision emphasizes that this supervisor must be both bold and modest: bold in seeking to understand the sources and distributions of systemically important risks, and modest about what a supervisor can do without imposing overly restrictive regulations. Finally, the paper argues that the primary responsibility for risk management must rest with firms, not with government supervisors. Unfortunately, systemic risk concerns have led governments to shield the private sector from the full losses that dull their incentive to discipline risk taking. This section of the paper suggests that deposit insurance reform, special resolutions for systemically important firms, and requiring firms to plan for their own resolution and contingent capital may all have a role to play in restoring effective market discipline.

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Paper provided by Asian Development Bank Institute in its series ADBI Working Papers with number 176.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 10 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0176
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  1. Gillian G.H.Garcia & Rosa M. Lastra & Maria J. Nieto, 2009. "Bankruptcy and reorganisation procedures for cross-border banks in the EU: Towards an integrated approach to the reform of the EU safety net," FMG Special Papers sp186, Financial Markets Group.
  2. Adam Ashcraft & Morten L. Bech & W. Scott Frame, 2010. "The Federal Home Loan Bank System: The Lender of Next-to-Last Resort?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 551-583, 06.
  3. Hart, Oliver & Zingales, Luigi, 2009. "A New Capital Regulation For Large Financial Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7298, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Andreas Lehnert & Shane M. Sherlund & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Making sense of the subprime crisis," Working Paper 2009-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Larry D. Wall, 1986. "Nonbank activities and risk," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Oct, pages 19-34.
  6. Lawrence J. White & W. Scott Frame, 2009. "The Federal Home Loan Bank System: Current Issues in Perspective," Working Papers 09-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  7. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "The credit crisis and cycle-proof regulation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 397-402.
  8. David G. Mayes & María J. Nieto & Larry Wall, 2008. "Multiple safety net regulators and agency problems in the EU: Is Prompt Corrective Action partly the solution?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0819, Banco de Espa�a.
  9. Robert Eisenbeis & Larry Wall, 1998. "Financial regulatory structure and the resolution of conflicting goals," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
  10. Kane, Edward J, 1977. "Good Intentions and Unintended Evil: The Case against Selective Credit Allocation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 9(1), pages 55-69, February.
  11. Gillian G.H. Garcia & Rosa M. Lastra & María J. Nieto, 2009. "Bankruptcy and reorganization procedures for cross-border banks in the EU: Towards an integrated approach to the reform of the EU safety net," Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 17(3), pages 240-276, July.
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