Purifying Japan's Banks: Issues and Implications

49 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2006

See all articles by Randall Morck

Randall Morck

University of Alberta - Department of Finance and Statistical Analysis; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governence Institute; Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research

Bernard Yin Yeung

National University of Singapore - Business School

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

We use a simple real options framework and empirical data to establish that although Japanese banks hold borrowers' shares, their interest is more aligned as a contractual claimant than a residual claimant of corporations. We then explain why the Japanese model of corporate governance was useful during the 'catching up' growth of that country's postwar reconstruction decades, but became problematic subsequently. The interests of shareholders, creditors, workers, and managers are more readily aligned because such growth projects with highly predictable cash flows. Once on the technological frontier, 'keeping up' growth requires risk taking and a tolerance for 'creative destruction'. This is better accommodated by entrusting corporate governance to firms' true residual claimants, their shareholders.

Suggested Citation

Morck, Randall K. and Yeung, Bernard Yin, Purifying Japan's Banks: Issues and Implications (January 2006). Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2103. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=878105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.878105

Randall K. Morck (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Finance and Statistical Analysis ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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European Corporate Governence Institute ( email )

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Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research ( email )

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Bernard Yin Yeung

National University of Singapore - Business School ( email )

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BIZ 1 Level 6
Singapore, 119245
Singapore
65 6516 3075 (Phone)
65 6779 1365 (Fax)

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