Toward a Run-Free Financial System

50 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2014

See all articles by John H. Cochrane

John H. Cochrane

Hoover Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 16, 2014

Abstract

The financial crisis was a systemic run. Hence, the central regulatory response should be to eliminate run-prone securities from the financial system. By contrast, current regulation guarantees run-prone bank liabilities and instead tries to regulate bank assets and their values. I survey how a much simpler, rule-based, liability regulation could eliminate runs and crises, while allowing inevitable booms and busts. I show how modern communications, computation, and financial technology overcomes traditional arguments against narrow banking. I survey just how hopeless our current regulatory structure has become.

I suggest that Pigouvian taxes provide a better structure to control debt issue than capital ratios; that banks should be 100% funded by equity, allowing downstream easy-to-fail intermediaries to tranche that equity to debt if needed. Fixed-value debt should be provided by or 100% backed by Treasury or Fed securities.

Keywords: Financial regulation, crises, Dodd-Frank, runs

JEL Classification: G21,G24,G28,G32,G33,G38

Suggested Citation

Cochrane, John H., Toward a Run-Free Financial System (April 16, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2425883 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2425883

John H. Cochrane (Contact Author)

Hoover Institution ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
6507236708 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.johnhcochrane.com/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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