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Risk-Shifting, Regulation, and Government Assistance
This paper examines an episode when policy response to a financial crisis effectively incentivized financial institutions to reallocate their portfolios toward safe assets. Following a shift to a regime of enhanced regulation and scaled-down public assistance during the savings and loan crisis in 1989, I find that thrifts with a high probability of failure increased their composition of safe assets relative to thrifts with a low probability of failure. The findings also show a shift to safe assets among stock thrifts relative to mutual thrifts, thereby providing evidence of risk-shifting from ...
Payments Crises and Consequences
Banking-system shutdowns during contractions scar economies. Four times in the lastforty years, governors suspended payments from state-insured depository institutions. Suspensionsof payments in Nebraska (1983), Ohio (1985), and Maryland (1985), which wereshort and occurred during expansions, had little measurable impact on macroeconomic aggregates.Rhode Island’s payments crisis (1991), which was prolonged and occurred duringa recession, lengthened and deepened the downturn. Unemployment increased. Outputdeclined, possibly permanently relative to what might have been. We document these ...
The Macroeconomic Fallout of Shutting Down the Banking System
During the 2008–09 financial crisis, the U.S. government arranged bailouts of major banks to prevent a suspension of bank deposits, where banks cease paying checks and refuse depositors’ requests to withdraw funds. Although these bailouts likely helped firms and households continue to make payments, they have been debated due to potential moral hazard concerns as well as the high cost to taxpayers. Assessing the costs and benefits of preventing deposit suspensions is difficult, as nationwide bank suspensions have not occurred since the Great Depression.To circumvent this challenge, Qian ...
PPP Raised Community Bank Revenue but Lowered Profitability
Community banks have played an outsized role in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), disbursing 37 percent of all PPP loans despite holding only 18 percent of outstanding bank loans. Although participation boosted community banks’ revenue by supporting asset and interest income growth, it appears to have lowered their profitability, at least initially: low interest rates and deferred fee collection on PPP loans reduced banks’ earning margins.