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Are Banks Too Big to Fail or Too Big to Save? International Evidence from Equity Prices and CDS Spreads

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  • Demirgüc-Kunt, A.
  • Huizinga, H.P.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

Deteriorating public finances around the world raise doubts about countries'abilities to bail out their largest banks. For an international sample of banks, this paper investigates the impact of government indebtedness and deficits on bank stock prices and credit default swap spreads. Overall, bank stock prices reflect a negative capitalization of government debt and they respond negatively to deficits. The authors present evidence that in 2008 systemically large banks saw a reduction in their market valuation in countries running large fiscal deficits. Furthermore, the change in bank credit default swap spreads in 2008 relative to 2007 reflects countries'deterioration of public deficits. The results of the analysis suggest that some systemically important banks can increase their value by downsizing or splitting up, as they have become too big to save, potentially reversing the trend to ever larger banks. The paper also documents that a smaller proportion of banks are systemically important -- relative to gross domestic product -- in 2008 than in the two previous years, which could reflect private incentives to downsize.
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Suggested Citation

  • Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Huizinga, H.P., 2010. "Are Banks Too Big to Fail or Too Big to Save? International Evidence from Equity Prices and CDS Spreads," Discussion Paper 2010-59, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:c8779d85-c9aa-496d-b388-fb600c225c04
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banking; Financial crisis; Credit default swap; Too big to fail; Too big to save;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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