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Working Paper
Unexpected Effects of Bank Bailouts: Depositors Need Not Apply and Need Not Run

A key policy issue is whether bank bailouts weaken or strengthen market discipline. We address this by analyzing how bank bailouts influence deposit quantities and prices of recipients versus other banks. Using the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailouts, we find both deposit quantities and prices decline, consistent with substantially reduced demand for deposits by bailed-out banks that dominate market discipline supply effects. Main findings are robust to numerous checks and endogeneity tests. However, diving deeper into depositor heterogeneity suggests nuances. Increases in uninsured ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-10

Working Paper
Efficient Bailouts?

We develop a quantitative equilibrium model of financial crises to assess the interaction between ex-post interventions in credit markets and the buildup of risk ex ante. During a systemic crisis, bailouts relax balance sheet constraints and mitigate the severity of the recession. Ex ante, the anticipation of such bailouts leads to an increase in risk-taking, making the economy more vulnerable to a financial crisis. We find that moral hazard effects are limited if bailouts are systemic and broad-based. If bailouts are idiosyncratic and targeted, however, this makes the economy significantly ...
Working Papers , Paper 730

Working Paper
Optimal Bailouts in Banking and Sovereign Crises

We study optimal bailout policies in the presence of banking and sovereign crises. First, we use European data to document that asset guarantees are the most prevalent way in which sovereigns intervene during banking crises. Then, we build a model of sovereign borrowing with limited commitment, where domestic banks hold government debt and also provide credit to the private sector. Shocks to bank capital can trigger banking crises, with government sometimes finding it optimal to extend guarantees over bank assets. This leads to a trade-off: Larger bailouts relax domestic financial frictions ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 406

Working Paper
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 ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-10

Working Paper
Avoiding Sovereign Default Contagion: A Normative Analysis

Should debtor countries support each other during sovereign debt crises? We answer this question through the lens of a two-country sovereign-default model that we calibrate to the euro-area periphery. First, we look at cross-country bailouts. We find that whenever agents anticipate their existence, bailouts induce moral hazard an reduce welfare. Second, we look at the borrowing choices of a global central borrower. We find that it borrows less than individual governments and, as such, defaults become less frequent and welfare increases. Finally, we show that central borrower's policies can be ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1275

Working Paper
Do bank bailouts reduce or increase systemic risk? the effects of TARP on financial system stability

Theory suggests that bank bailouts may either reduce or increase systemic risk. This paper is the first to address this issue empirically, analyzing the U.S. Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Difference-in-difference analysis suggests that TARP significantly reduced contributions to systemic risk, particularly for larger and safer banks located in better local economies. This occurred primarily through a capital cushion channel. {{p}} Results are robust to additional tests, including accounting for potential endogeneity and selection bias. Findings yield policy conclusions about the ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 16-8

Financial Safety Nets

In this paper, we study the optimal design of financial safety nets under limited private credit. We ask when it is optimal to restrict ex ante the set of investors that can receive public liquidity support ex post. When the government can commit, the optimal safety net covers all investors. Introducing a wedge between identical investors is inefficient. Without commitment, an optimally designed financial safety net covers only a subset of investors. Compared to an economy where all investors are protected, this results in more liquid portfolios, better social insurance, and higher ex ante ...
Staff Report , Paper 535

Working Paper
Collective Moral Hazard and the Interbank Market

The concentration of risk within financial system is considered to be a source of systemic instability. We propose a theory to explain the structure of the financial system and show how it alters the risk taking incentives of financial institutions. We build a model of portfolio choice and endogenous contracts in which the government optimally intervenes during crises. By issuing financial claims to other institutions, relatively risky institutions endogenously become large and interconnected. This structure enables institutions to share the risk of systemic crisis in a privately optimal way, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-098


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