Discussion Paper

Do “Too-Big-To-Fail” Banks Take On More Risk?

Abstract: In the previous post, Joo Santos showed that the largest banks benefit from a bigger discount in the bond market relative to the largest nonbank financial and nonfinancial issuers. Today?s post approaches a complementary Too-Big-to-Fail (TBTF) question?do banks take on more risk if they?re likely to receive government support? Historically, commentators have expressed concerns that TBTF status encourages banks to engage in risky behavior. However, empirical evidence to substantiate these concerns thus far has been sparse. Using new ratings from Fitch, we tackle this question by examining how changes in the perceived likelihood of government support affect bank lending policies.

Keywords: risk taking; Too-Big-To-Fail; Government support;

JEL Classification: G2;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2014-03-26

Number: 201404326a