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Author:Thakor, Anjan V. 

Working Paper
Caught between Scylla and Charybdis? Regulating bank leverage when there is rent seeking and risk shifting

Banks face two moral hazard problems: asset substitution by shareholders (e.g., making risky, negative net present value loans) and managerial rent seeking (e.g., investing in inefficient ?pet? projects or simply being lazy and uninnovative). The privately-optimal level of bank leverage is neither too low nor too high: It balances effi ciently the market discipline imposed by owners of risky debt on managerial rent-seeking against the asset-substitution induced at high levels of leverage. However, when correlated bank failures can impose significant social costs, regulators may bail out bank ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1024

Report
Robust capital regulation

Banks? leverage choices represent a delicate balancing act. Credit discipline argues for more leverage, while balance-sheet opacity and ease of asset substitution argue for less. Meanwhile, regulatory safety nets promote ex post financial stability, but also create perverse incentives for banks to engage in correlated asset choices and to hold little equity capital. As a way to cope with these distorted incentives, we outline a two-tier capital framework for banks. The first tier is a regular core capital requirement that helps deter excessive risk-taking incentives. The second tier, a novel ...
Staff Reports , Paper 490

Journal Article
Robust capital regulation

Regulators and markets can find the balance sheets of large financial institutions difficult to penetrate, and they are mindful of how undercapitalization can create incentives to take on excessive risk. This study proposes a novel framework for capital regulation that addresses banks' incentives to take on excessive risk and leverage. The framework consists of a special capital account in addition to a core capital requirement. The special account would accrue to a bank's shareholders as long as the bank is solvent, but would pass to the bank's regulators?rather than its creditors?if the ...
Current Issues in Economics and Finance , Volume 18 , Issue May

Journal Article
Corporate culture in banking

Until recently, regulatory discourse has paid scant attention to the issue of organizational culture in banking. Yet ethical lapses and systematic weaknesses exposed in the 2007-09 financial crisis suggest that future policy dialogue is unlikely to ignore culture?s significance. Drawing from an approach developed in organizational behavior research, the author introduces a framework for diagnosing and changing corporate culture in a way that more effectively supports the bank?s growth strategy and induces behavior that enhances financial stability. The normative exercise, highlighting the ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Aug , Pages 5-16

Conference Paper
An empirical analysis of the costs of regulatory compliance

Proceedings , Paper 434

Conference Paper
A \\"barter\\" theory of bank regulation and credit allocation

Proceedings

Journal Article
Commentary on \\"Is the United States bankrupt? \\"

Review , Volume 88 , Issue Jul , Pages 251-258

Report
Bank capital and value in the cross section

We address two questions: (i) Are bank capital structure and value correlated in the cross section, and if so, how? (ii) If bank capital does affect bank value, how are the components of bank value affected by capital? We first develop a dynamic model with a dissipative cost of bank capital that is traded off against the benefits of capital: strengthened incentives for the bank to engage in value-enhancing loan monitoring and a higher probability of avoiding regulatory closure due to loan delinquencies. The model predicts that (i) the total value of the bank and its equity capital are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 390

Report
Caught between Scylla and Charybdis? Regulating bank leverage when there is rent seeking and risk shifting

We consider a model in which banking is characterized by asset substitution moral hazard and managerial underprovision of effort in loan monitoring. The privately optimal bank leverage efficiently balances the benefit of debt in providing the discipline to ensure that the bank monitors its loans against the benefit of equity in attenuating asset-substitution moral hazard. However, when correlated bank failures impose significant social costs, regulators bail out bank creditors. Anticipation of this action generates multiple equilibria, including an equilibrium featuring systemic risk, in ...
Staff Reports , Paper 469

Conference Paper
Banking stability, reputational rents, and the stock market: should bank regulators care about stock prices?

In this paper I begin with a model that generates quantity credit rationing by banks in the spot credit market when the stock market is not doing well, i.e., asset prices are low. Then I provide a theoretical rationale for a bank loan commitment as partial insurance against such future rationing. Incorporating uncertainty about both the creditworthiness of borrowers and the abilities of banks to screen borrowers, I show that the reputational concerns of banks can lead to an equilibrium in which loan commitments serve their role in increasing the supply of credit relative to the spot credit ...
Conference Series ; [Proceedings]

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