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The 2007 Meltdown in Structured Securitization: Searching for Lessons not Scapegoats

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Abstract

The intensity of recent turbulence in financial markets has surprised nearly everyone. This paper searches out the root causes of the crisis, distinguishing them from scapegoating explanations that have been used in policy circles to divert attention from the underlying breakdown of incentives. Incentive conflicts explain how securitization went wrong, why credit ratings proved so inaccurate, and why it is superficial to blame the crisis on mark-to-market accounting, an unexpected loss of liquidity or trends in globalization and deregulation in financial markets. Our analysis finds disturbing implications of the crisis for Basel II and its implementation. We argue that the principal source of financial instability lies in contradictory political and bureaucratic incentives that undermine the effectiveness of financial regulation and supervision in every country in the world. We conclude the paper by identifying reforms that would improve incentives by increasing transparency and accountability in government and industry alike.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard Caprio & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Edward Kane, 2008. "The 2007 Meltdown in Structured Securitization: Searching for Lessons not Scapegoats," Center for Development Economics 2008-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wilcde:2008-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gerard Caprio & Patrick Honohan, 2008. "Banking Crises," Center for Development Economics 2008-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    2. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1996. "The Efficiency of Self-Regulated Payments Systems: Learning from the Suffolk System," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 766-797, November.
    3. Giovanni Dell’Ariccia & Deniz Igan & Luc Laeven, 2012. "Credit Booms and Lending Standards: Evidence from the Subprime Mortgage Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 367-384, March.
    4. Douglas D. Evanoff & Larry D. Wall, 2000. "Subordinated debt and bank capital reform," Working Paper Series WP-00-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362.
    6. Ashcraft, Adam B. & Schuermann, Til, 2008. "Understanding the Securitization of Subprime Mortgage Credit," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 191-309, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Luis Servén, 2010. "Are All the Sacred Cows Dead? Implications of the Financial Crisis for Macro- and Financial Policies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 91-124, February.
    2. Cihak, Martin & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Mohseni-Cheraghlou, Amin, 2013. "Bank regulation and supervision in the context of the global crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 733-746.
    3. Koutsomanoli-Filippaki, Anastasia I. & Mamatzakis, Emmanuel C., 2011. "Efficiency under quantile regression: What is the relationship with risk in the EU banking industry?," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 84-95, May.
    4. Alexander, Gordon J. & Baptista, Alexandre M. & Yan, Shu, 2013. "A comparison of the original and revised Basel market risk frameworks for regulating bank capital," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 249-268.
    5. repec:eee:finana:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:226-240 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2010. "Bank activity and funding strategies: The impact on risk and returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 626-650, December.
    7. Alexander, Gordon J. & Baptista, Alexandre M. & Yan, Shu, 2012. "When more is less: Using multiple constraints to reduce tail risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 2693-2716.
    8. Cihak, Martin & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Peria, Maria Soledad Martinez & Mohseni-Cheraghlou, Amin, 2012. "Bank regulation and supervision around the world : a crisis update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6286, The World Bank.
    9. Alexander, Gordon J. & Baptista, Alexandre M. & Yan, Shu, 2014. "Bank regulation and international financial stability: A case against the 2006 Basel framework for controlling tail risk in trading books," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 107-130.
    10. Gerard Caprio, Jr. Williams College, 2009. "Financial Regulation in a Changing World: Lessons from the Recent Crisis," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp308, IIIS.
    11. Lopez, Ramon E., 2009. "World Economic Crises in Times of Environmental Scarcity and Wealth Concentration," Working Papers 56408, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    12. Calomiris, Charles W. & Love, Inessa & Martínez Pería, María Soledad, 2012. "Stock returns’ sensitivities to crisis shocks: Evidence from developed and emerging markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 743-765.
    13. Machinea, José Luis, 2008. "The international financial crisis: its nature and the economic policy challenges," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    14. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:1219-1227 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial crisis; Securitization; Regulation and Supervision; Safety Nets;

    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
    • 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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