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Keywords:bank failures 

Report
Are banks really special? New evidence from the FDIC-induced failure of healthy banks

The FDIC used cross-guarantees to close thirty-eight subsidiaries of First Republic Bank Corporation in 1988 and eighteen subsidiaries of First City Bancorporation in 1992 when lead banks from each of these Texas-based bank holding companies were declared insolvent. I use this exogenous failure of otherwise healthy subsidiary banks as a natural experiment for studying the impact of bank failure on local-area real economic activity. I find that the closings of the subsidiaries were associated with a significant decline in bank lending that led to a permanent reduction in real county income of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 176

Working Paper
Corporate Governance and Risk Management at Unprotected Banks: National Banks in the 1890s

Managers' incentives may conflict with those of shareholders or creditors, particularly at leveraged, opaque banks. Bankers may abuse their control rights to give themselves excessive salaries, favored access to credit, or to take excessive risks that benefit themselves at the expense of depositors. Banks must design contracting and governance structures that sufficiently resolve agency problems so that they can attract funding from outside shareholders and depositors. We examine banks from the 1890s, a period when there were no distortions from deposit insurance or government interventions ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-08

Working Paper
Why does the FDIC sue?

Cases the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) pursues against the directors and officers of failed commercial banks for (gross) negligence are important for the corporate governance of U.S. commercial banks. These cases shape the kernel of bank corporate governance, as they guide expectations of bankers and regulators in defining the limits of acceptable behavior under financial distress. We examine the differences in behavior of all 408 U.S. commercial banks that were taken into receivership between 2007?2012. Sued banks had different balance sheet dynamics in the three years prior ...
Working Papers , Paper 1601

Journal Article
The 1970s Origins of Too Big to Fail

In 1972, bank regulators bailed out the $1.2 billion Bank of the Commonwealth partly because they viewed it as ?too big to fail.? We describe this bailout and subsequent ones through that of Continental Illinois in 1984 and use the descriptions to draw lessons about too-big-to-fail policy. We argue that some of the same issues that motivated bailouts during this earlier period, particularly worries about banking concentration, are relevant today.
Economic Commentary , Issue October

Journal Article
Bank resolution concepts, trade-offs, and changes in practices

Banks and financial intermediaries perform important roles for the smooth functioning of the economy such as channeling resources from savers to productive projects and providing payment services. Because bank failure can result in significant costs for the economy, an efficient resolution mechanism is needed to mitigate such costs. This article provides a simple framework for analyzing the feasibility and cost of different resolution methods. The analysis shows that while private resolution methods, such as sale to a healthy bank, are preferred options in terms of minimizing costs, they may ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Dec , Pages 153-173

Discussion Paper
Depositor Discipline of Risk-Taking by U.S. Banks

The recent financial crisis caused the largest rise in the number of bank failures since the unprecedented banking crisis of the 1980s and early 1990s. This post examines how depositors responded to the amplified risks of bank failure over the last three decades. We show that uninsured depositors discipline troubled banks by withdrawing their funds. Focusing on the recent financial crisis, we find that banks experienced an outflow of uninsured time deposits after the near-failure of Bear Stearns and bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. This depositor risk sensitivity subsided after the Federal ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20140414a

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