Cash-in-The-Market Pricing and Optimal Resolution of Bank Failures
Viral V. Acharya
New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
The Review of Financial Studies, Vol. 21, Issue 6, pp. 2705-2742, 2008
As the number of bank failures increases, the set of assets available for acquisition by surviving banks enlarges but the total liquidity available with surviving banks falls. This results in “cash-in-the-market” pricing for liquidation of banking assets. At a sufficiently large number of bank failures, and in turn, at a sufficiently low level of asset prices, there are too many banks to liquidate and inefficient users of assets who are liquidity-endowed may end up owning the liquidated assets. In order to avoid this allocation inefficiency, it may be ex-post optimal for the regulator to bail out some failed banks. We show, however, that there exists a policy that involves granting liquidity to surviving banks in the purchase of failed banks, which is equivalent to the bailout policy from an ex-post standpoint. Crucially, this liquidity provision policy gives banks incentives to differentiate, rather than to herd, makes aggregate banking crises less likely, and thereby dominates the bailout policy from an ex-ante standpoint.
Keywords: G21, G28, G38, E58, D62
Date posted: December 15, 2008