Creator: Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 228 Abstract:
"Summary of Recommendations: . . . Repeal present control by the System over interest rates that member banks may pay on time deposits and present prohibition of interest payments by member banks on demand deposits." Milton Friedman (1960, p. 100) "I conclude that the over-all monetary effects of ceiling regulations are small and easy to neutralize by traditional monetary controls. The allocative and distributive effects are, however, unfortunate. The root of the policy was an exaggerated and largely unnecessary concern for the technical solvency of savings and loan associations." James Tobin (1970, p. 5) The regulation of deposit interest rates has received little support from economists. The same is true for the original rationale for such regulation: that bank competition for deposits generates inherent "instability" in the banking system. This paper develops an "adverse selection" model of banking in which this rationale is correct. Moreover, in this model instability in the banking system can arise despite the presence of a "lender of last resort," and despite the absence of any need for "deposit insurance." However, in the world described, the regulation of deposit interest rates is shown to be an appropriate response to "instability" in the banking system. Finally, it is argued that "adverse selection" models of deposit interest rate determination can confront a number of observed phenomena that are not readily explained in other contexts.
Keyword: Risk, Banking panics, Unregulated banks, Banking Act of 1935, Instability, Bank regulation, Banking Act of 1933, and Banking Act Subject (JEL): D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design, G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages, G11 - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions, and E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System; Payment Systems
Creator: Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 258 Abstract:
Recent developments in the theory of economies with private information permit a re-examination of the issues raised in the "real bills-quantity theory" debate. A model is developed here in which there are banks, in which fiat money is present, and in which agents possess private information. Two regulatory regimes are then considered. In the first, banks are essentially unregulated. In the second, banks face 100 percent reserve requirements. Issues related to existence and optimality of equilibrium are addressed, and problems with existence are given an interpretation in terms of the "stability" of the banking system. Existence (stability) problems which arise under laissez-faire banking can be rectified by a 100 percent reserve requirement. However, unless there is private information regarding access to investment opportunities, there are typically better ways to accomplish this. Finally, it is shown that even in the presence of 100 percent reserve requirements banks are not simply "money warehouses." Bank deposits and money bear different (real) return streams, even under 100 percent reserves.
Keyword: Fiat money, Equilibrium, Real bills-quantity theory, Regulation, Bank, and Financial intermediaries Subject (JEL): D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
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): G18 - General Financial Markets: Government Policy and Regulation, G00 - Financial Economics: General, and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
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): E51 - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages