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Market Failures and Regulatory Failures: Lessons from Past and Present Financial Crises

  • Acharya, Viral V.

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Cooley, Thomas

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Richardson, Matthew

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Walter, Ingo

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

The paper analyzes the financial crisis of 2007–2009 through the lens of market failures and regulatory failures and presents a case that there were four primary failures contributing to the crisis: excessive risk-taking in the financial sector due to mispriced government guarantees; regulatory focus on individual institution risk rather than systemic risk; opacity of positions in financial derivatives that produced externalities from individual firm failures; and runs on the unregulated banking sector that eventually threatened to bring down the entire financial sector. In emphasizing the role of regulatory failures, the paper provides a description of regulatory evolution in response to the panic of 1907 and the Great Depression, why the regulation put in place then was successful in addressing market failures, but how, over time, especially around the resolutions of Continental Illinois, Savings and Loans crisis and the Long-Term Capital Management, expectations of too-big-to-fail status got anchored. The paper proposes specific reforms to address the four market and regulatory failures we identify, and we conclude with some lessons for emerging markets.

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Paper provided by Asian Development Bank Institute in its series ADBI Working Papers with number 264.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 08 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0264
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  1. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," Scholarly Articles 11129155, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Acharya, Viral V. & Schnabl, Philipp & Suarez, Gustavo, 2013. "Securitization without risk transfer," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 515-536.
  3. Gerard Caprio & Patrick Honohan, 2008. "Banking Crises," Center for Development Economics 2008-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  4. Edward J. Kane & Berry K. Wilson, 1998. "A contracting-theory intepretation of the origins of Federal deposit insurance," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Aug, pages 573-595.
  5. Demirguc-Kunt, Asl' & Kane, Edward J., 2001. "Depositinsurance around the globe : where does it work?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2679, The World Bank.
  6. Armen Hovakimian & Edward J. Kane & Luc Laeven, 2002. "How Country and Safety-Net Characteristics Affect Bank Risk-Shifting," NBER Working Papers 9322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Detragiache, Enrica, 1999. "Does deposit insurance increase banking system stability ? An empirical investigation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2247, The World Bank.
  8. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  9. Joshua D. Coval & Jakub W. Jurek & Erik Stafford, 2009. "Economic Catastrophe Bonds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 628-66, June.
  10. Lucas, Deborah & McDonald, Robert L., 2006. "An options-based approach to evaluating the risk of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 155-176, January.
  11. Penas, Maria Fabiana & Unal, Haluk, 2004. "Gains in bank mergers: Evidence from the bond markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 149-179, October.
  12. Huberto M. Ennis & H.S. Malek, 2005. "Bank risk of failure and the too-big-to-fail policy," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 21-44.
  13. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2009. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2201-2238, June.
  14. Donald P. Morgan & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2005. "Too big to fail after all these years," Staff Reports 220, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Viral V. Acharya & João A. C. Santos & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2010. "Systemic risk and deposit insurance premiums," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 89-99.
  16. Claessens,Constantijn A. & Klingebiel, Daniela & Laeven, Luc, 2004. "Resolving systemic financial crisis : policies and institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3377, The World Bank.
  17. Armen Hovakimian & Edward J. Kane, 2000. "Effectiveness of Capital Regulation at U.S. Commercial Banks, 1985 to 1994," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 451-468, 02.
  18. Kane, Edward J. & Klingebiel, Daniela, 2004. "Alternatives to blanket guarantees for containing a systemic crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 31-63, September.
  19. John, Kose & John, Teresa A. & Senbet, Lemma W., 1991. "Risk-shifting incentives of depository institutions: A new perspective on federal deposit insurance reform," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4-5), pages 895-915, September.
  20. Cordell, Lawrence R & MacDonald, Gregor D & Wohar, Mark E, 1993. "Corporate Ownership and the Thrift Crisis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 719-56, October.
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