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Bank Panics and the Endogeneity of Central Banking

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  • Gary Gorton
  • Lixin Huang

Abstract

Central banking is intimately related to liquidity provision to banks during times of crisis, the lender-of-last-resort function. This activity arose endogenously in certain banking systems. Depositors lack full information about the value of bank assets so that during macroeconomic downturns they monitor their banks by withdrawing in a banking panic. The likelihood of panics depends on the industrial organization of the banking system. Banking systems with many small, undiversified banks, are prone to panics and failures, unlike systems with a few big banks that are heavily branched and well diversified. Systems of many small banks are more efficient if the banks form coalitions during times of crisis. We provide conditions under which the industrial organization of banking leads to incentive compatible state contingent bank coalition formation. Such coalitions issue money that is a kind of deposit insurance and examine and supervise banks. Bank coalitions of small banks, however, cannot replicate the efficiency of a system of big banks.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gary Gorton & Lixin Huang, 2002. "Bank Panics and the Endogeneity of Central Banking," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-29, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:02-29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xavier Freixas & Antoine Martin & David Skeie, 2011. "Bank Liquidity, Interbank Markets, and Monetary Policy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(8), pages 2656-2692.
    2. Dwyer, Gerald Jr. & Hasan, Iftekhar, 2007. "Suspension of payments, bank failures, and the nonbank public's losses," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 565-580, March.
    3. Tallman, Ellis W. & Moen, Jon R., 2012. "Liquidity creation without a central bank: Clearing house loan certificates in the banking panic of 1907," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 277-291.
    4. Dwyer Jr., Gerald P. & Samartín, Margarita, 2009. "Why do banks promise to pay par on demand?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-169, June.
    5. Stephen Millard, 2007. "The foundations of money, payments and central banking: A review essay," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 106, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    6. Viral V. Acharya & Denis Gromb & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2012. "Imperfect Competition in the Interbank Market for Liquidity as a Rationale for Central Banking," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 184-217, April.
    7. Ellis W. Tallman & Jon R. Moen, 2007. "Liquidity creation without a lender of last resort: clearinghouse loan certificates in the Banking Panic of 1907," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. Vincent Bignon & Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2012. "Bagehot for beginners: the making of lender‐of‐last‐resort operations in the mid‐nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 580-608, May.
    9. Freixas, Xavier & Rochet, Jean-Charles & Parigi, Bruno M., 2003. "The lender of last resort: a 21st century approach," Working Paper Series 298, European Central Bank.
    10. Gary Gorton & Andrew Metrick, 2013. "The Federal Reserve and Panic Prevention: The Roles of Financial Regulation and Lender of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
    11. Gary Gorton & Lixin Huang, 2004. "Liquidity, Efficiency, and Bank Bailouts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 455-483, June.
    12. Klüh, Ulrich, 2005. "Safety Net Design and Systemic Risk: New Empirical Evidence," Discussion Papers in Economics 662, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    13. Daniel R. Sanches, 2013. "Banking crises and the role of bank coalitions," Working Papers 13-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 04 Feb 2014.
    14. Silvia Gabrieli, 2010. "The functioning of the European interbank market during the 2007-08 financial crisis," CEIS Research Paper 158, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.
    15. Cecile Bastidon & Philippe Gilles & Nicolas Huchet, 2008. "A Selective Bail-Out International Lending of Last Resort Model," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 9(1), pages 103-114, May.
    16. Bowo Setiyono & Amine Tarazi, 2014. "Disclosure, ownership structure and bank risk: Evidence from Asia," Working Papers hal-00947590, HAL.
    17. Nier, Erlend W., 2005. "Bank stability and transparency," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 342-354, April.
    18. Vincent Bignon & Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2009. "Bagehot for beginners: The making of lending of last resort operations in the mid-19th century," Working Paper 2009/22, Norges Bank.
    19. Bastidon, Cécile & Gilles, Philippe & Huchet, Nicolas, 2008. "The international lender of last resort and selective bail-out," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 144-152, June.
    20. Bushman, Robert M., 2014. "Thoughts on financial accounting and the banking industry," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 384-395.
    21. Patrick Van Roy, 2008. "Transparency in banking," Financial Stability Review, National Bank of Belgium, vol. 6(1), pages 133-147, June.
    22. Gregor Weiß, 2012. "Analysing contagion and bailout effects with copulae," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 36(1), pages 1-32, January.
    23. James B. Thomson, 2010. "Cleaning up the refuse from a financial crisis: the case for a resolution management corporation," Working Paper 1015, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    24. Itai Agur, 2009. "What Institutional Structure for the Lender of Last Resort?," DNB Working Papers 200, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    25. Norman, Ben & Shaw, Rachel & Speight, George, 2011. "The history of interbank settlement arrangements: exploring central banks’ role in the payment system," Bank of England working papers 412, Bank of England.

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    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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