On the welfare properties of fractional reserve banking
Abstract: Superseded by Working Paper 15-20. Monetary economists have long recognized a tension between the benefits of fractional reserve banking, such as the ability to undertake more profitable (long-term) investment opportunities, and the difficulties associated with fractional reserve banking, such as the risk of insolvency for each bank. The goal of this paper is to show that a specific form of private bank coalition (a joint-liability arrangement) allows the members of the banking system to engage in fractional reserve banking in such a way that the solvency of each member bank is completely guaranteed. Under this arrangement, I show that a lower reserve ratio usually translates into a higher exchange value of bank liabilities, benefitting the consumers who use them as a means of payment.
Keywords: Banks and banking; Interbank market;
Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Part of Series: Working Papers
Publication Date: 2013-02-04
Pages: 36 pages