Subordinated debt and bank capital reform
In recent years there has been a growing realization that there are significant problems with the current bank risk-based capital guidelines. As financial firms have become more sophisticated and complex they have effectively arbitraged the existing capital requirements. They have become so good at avoiding the intent of capital regulation that the regulations have essentially ceased to be a safety and soundness issue for supervisors and have become more a compliance issue. There is also a growing realization that bank regulation must more effectively incorporate market discipline to ...
The adoption of stress testing: why the Basel capital measures were not enough
The Basel capital adequacy ratios lost credibility with financial markets during the crisis. This paper argues that failure was the result of the reliance of the Basel standards on overstated asset values in reported equity capital. The United States? stress tests were able to assist in restoring credibility, in part because they could capture deterioration in asset values. However, whether stress tests will prove equally valuable in the next crisis is not clear. Some of the weaknesses in the Basel ratios are being addressed. Moreover, the U.S. tests? success was the result of a combination ...
Financing housing through government-sponsored enterprises
Three government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)-Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System-were created to improve the availability of home mortgage financing by supplementing local funding. But today's more evolved financial markets enable retail lenders to tap national markets. Thus, the main contribution of the three housing GSEs has become providing homebuyers an interest rate subsidy that is made possible by the GSEs' special relationship with the federal government. ; This article examines the economic issues arising from the provision of such subsidies via the housing ...
How should banks account for loan losses?
The agencies that regulate banks are involved in an ongoing debate about the appropriate way for banks and other lenders to account for default risk on loans. Accounting authorities are concerned with whether the accounting method meets the needs of general-purpose users of financial statements, particularly investors. In contrast, bank supervisors are concerned about banks being inadequately capitalized and possibly failing. ; To shed light on this debate, this article reviews the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) currently used, which are based on historic-cost values for ...
Interest rate swaps: a review of the issues
Rents, regulation and risk-taking in the banking industry
Bank Supervisory Goals versus Monetary Policy Implementation
The global financial crisis of 2007–09 revealed substantial weaknesses in large banks' capital adequacy and liquidity. Bank regulators responded with a variety of prudential measures intended to strengthen both. However, these prudential measures resulted in conflicts with the implementation of monetary policy that helped alter the way the Federal Reserve conducts monetary policy. I review three such conflicts: regulation inhibiting interest on excess reserves arbitrage starting in 2008, regulation inhibiting banks' operations in the repo market in 2019, and regulation inhibiting their ...
Bank capital ratios across countries: why do they vary?
This paper extends the literature on bank capital structure by modeling capital structure as a function of important public policy and bank regulatory characteristics of the home country, as well as of bank-specific variables, country-level macroeconomic conditions, and country-level financial characteristics. The model is estimated with annual data from 1992 to 2005 for an unbalanced panel of the seventy-eight largest private banks in the world headquartered in twelve industrial countries. The results indicate that bank capital ratios are significantly affected in the hypothesized directions ...