Creator: Rolnick, Arthur J., 1944-, Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002, and Weber, Warren E. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 592 Abstract:
Before the establishment of federal deposit insurance, the U.S. experienced periodic banking panics, during which banks suspended specie payments and reduced lending. There was often a corresponding economic slowdown. The Panic of 1837 is considered one of the worst banking panics, and it coincided with a slowdown that lasted for almost five years. The economic disruption was not uniform across the country, however. The slowdown in New England was substantially less severe than elsewhere. Here we suggest that the Suffolk Bank, a private bank, was one reason for New England’s relative success. We argue that the Suffolk Bank’s provision of note-clearing and lender of last resort services (via the Suffolk Banking System) lessened the effects of the Panic of 1837 in New England relative to the rest of the country, where no bank provided such services.
Subject (JEL): N11 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
Creator: Boyd, John H., Chang, Chun, and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 593 Abstract:
This paper undertakes a simple general equilibrium analysis of the consequences of deposit insurance programs, the way in which they are priced and the way in which they fund revenue shortfalls. We show that the central issue is how the government will make up any FDIC losses. Under one scheme for making up the losses, we show that FDIC policy is irrelevant: it does not matter what premium is charged, nor does it matter how big FDIC losses are. Under another scheme, all that matters is the magnitude of the losses. And there is no presumption that small losses are “good.” We also show that multiple equilibria can be observed and Pareto ranked. Some economies may be “trapped” in equilibria with inefficient financial systems. Our analysis provides counterexamples to the following propositions. (1) Actuarially fair pricing of deposit insurance is always desirable. (2) Implicit FDIC subsidization of banks through deposit insurance is always undesirable. (3) “Large” FDIC losses are necessarily symptomatic of a poorly designed deposit insurance system.
Keyword: Deposit insurance Subject (JEL): G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages, G18 - General Financial Markets: Government Policy and Regulation, and G00 - Financial Economics: General
Creator: Boyd, John H., Chang, Chun, and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 585 Abstract:
Many claims have been made about the potential benefits and the potential costs of adopting a system of universal banking in the United States. We evaluate these claims using a model where there is a moral hazard problem between banks and "borrowers," a moral hazard problem between banks and a deposit insurer, and a costly state verification problem. Under conditions we describe, allowing banks to take equity positions in firms strengthens their ability to extract surplus, and exacerbates problems of moral hazard. The incentives of universal banks to take equity positions will often be strongest when these problems are most severe.
Creator: Rolnick, Arthur J., 1944-, Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002, and Weber, Warren E. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 584 Abstract:
The classic example of a privately created and well-functioning interbank payments system is the Suffolk Banking System that existed in New England between 1825 and 1858. This System, operated by the Suffolk Bank, was the first regionwide net-clearing system for bank notes in the United States. While it operated, notes of all New England banks circulated at par throughout the region. The achievements of the System have led some to conclude that unfettered competition in the provision of payments services can produce an efficient payments system. In this paper, we reexamine the history of the Suffolk Banking System and present some facts that call this conclusion into question. We find that the Suffolk Bank earned extraordinary profits and that note clearing may have been a natural monopoly. There is no consensus in the literature about whether unfettered operation of markets in the presence of natural monopolies produces an efficient allocation.
Creator: Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 and Wang, Cheng Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 574 Abstract:
We consider the problem of an insurer who enters into a repeated relationship with a set of risk averse agents in the presence of ex post verification costs. The insurer wishes to minimize the expected cost of providing these agents a certain expected utility level. We characterize the optimal contract between the insurer and the insured agents. We then apply the analysis to the provision of deposit insurance. Our results suggest—in a deposit insurance context—that it may be optimal to utilize the discount window early on, and to make deposit insurance payments only later, or not at all.
Keyword: Deposit insurance and Bank supervision Subject (JEL): E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies and G20 - Financial Institutions and Services: General
Creator: Boyd, John H., Levine, Ross, and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 573 Description:
Cover page issue number is "573D".
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 537 Abstract:
We consider an environment in which risk-neutral firms must obtain external finance. They have access to two kinds of linear, stochastic investment opportunities. For one, return realizations are costlessly observed by all agents. For the other, return realizations are costlessly observed only by the investing firm; however, they can be (privately) observed by outsiders who bear a fixed verification cost. Thus, the second investment opportunity is subject to a standard costly state verification (CSV) problem of the type considered by Townsend (1979), Gale and Hellwig (1985), or Williamson (1986, 1987).
We examine the optimal allocations of investment between the two kinds of projects, as well as the optimal contract used to finance it. We show that the optimal contractual outcome can be supported by having firms issue appropriate (and determinate) quantities of debt and equity securities to outside investors.
The optimal debt-equity ratio necessarily depends (in part) on the firm’s asset structure. Investments in projects subject to CSV problems are associated (in a sense to be made precise) with the use of debt—as might be expected from the existing CSV literature. Investments in projects with publicly observable returns are associated with the use of external equity.
We examine in detail the relationship between the optimal asset and liability structure of the firm. We also describe conditions under which an increase in the cost of state verification shifts the composition of investment towards projects with observable returns, and reduces the optimal debt-equity ratio. Interestingly, the optimal debt-equity ratio is also shown to depend on factors that are irrelevant to asset allocations.
Finally, a large part of the interest in CSV environments has been due to the fact that they may result in equilibrium credit rationing. Our analysis has strong implications for the possibility of equilibrium credit rationing in more general CSV models.
Subject (JEL): G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages and E51 - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 541 Abstract:
We produce a theoretical framework that helps explain the co-evolution of the real and financial sectors of an economy in the growth process, as described by Gurley and Shaw. According to them, self-financed capital investment first gives way to debt finance and later to the emergence of equity as an additional instrument for raising funds externally. As the economy develops further, the aggregate ratio of debt to equity will generally fall. We analyze that portion of their account concerning the evolution of equity markets. We show that in an important sense, debt equity are complementary sources for the financing of capital investments.
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 522 Abstract:
We consider a two country growth model with international capital markets. These markets fund capital investment in both countries, and operate subject to a costly state verification (CSV) problem. Investors in each country require some external finance, but also provide internal finance, which mitigates the CSV problem. When two identical (except for their initial capital stocks) economies are closed, they necessarily converge monotonically to the same steady state output level. Unrestricted international financial trade precludes otherwise identical economies from converging, and poor countries are necessarily net lenders to rich countries. Oscillation in real activity and international capital flows can occur.
Keyword: CSV, Open economy, International lending, Costly state verification, Capital investment, Closed economy, Credit rationing, International capital markets, and Credit Subject (JEL): F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems and O16 - Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance