A New Capital Regulation for Large Financial Institutions

41 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2009

See all articles by Oliver Hart

Oliver Hart

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Luigi Zingales

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2, 2009

Abstract

We design a new, implementable capital requirement for large financial institutions (LFIs) that are too big to fail. Our mechanism mimics the operation of margin accounts. To ensure that LFIs do not default on either their deposits or their derivative contracts, we require that they maintain an equity cushion sufficiently great that their own credit default swap price stays below a threshold level, and a cushion of long term bonds sufficiently large that, even if the equity is wiped out, the systemically relevant obligations are safe. If the CDS price goes above the threshold, the LFI regulator forces the LFI to issue equity until the CDS price moves back down. If this does not happen within a predetermined period of time, the regulator intervenes. We show that this mechanism ensures that LFIs are always solvent, while preserving some of the disciplinary effects of debt.

Suggested Citation

Hart, Oliver D. and Zingales, Luigi, A New Capital Regulation for Large Financial Institutions (October 2, 2009). Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 09-36. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1481779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1481779

Oliver D. Hart

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-3461 (Phone)
617-495-7730 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Luigi Zingales (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-3196 (Phone)
773-834-2081 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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