The Shadow Cost of Bank Capital Requirements
Review of Financial Studies, Forthcoming
53 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2013 Last revised: 24 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 21, 2016
We estimate the shadow cost of capital requirements using data on a costly loophole that allowed banks to relax these constraints. This loophole — liquidity guarantees to asset-backed commercial paper conduits — was exploited by the largest banks before the crisis of 2008. We show theoretically that a bank's use of the loophole reveals its private compliance cost, which takes into account both the costs of issuing equity and the effectiveness of capital regulation. We find that increasing capital requirements would impose a modest cost — $220 million a year for all participating banks combined per 1pp increase, and $14 million on average.
Keywords: Financial intermediation, Bank capital requirements, Cost of capital regulation, Leverage, Regulatory Arbitrage, Loophole
JEL Classification: G21, G28, G18, L51, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation