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No Room for Weak Links in the Chain of Deposit Insurance Reform

Author: Edward J Kane; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 1987.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. w2317.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Unrecognized and deferred losses at insured deposit institutions currently impair the capacity of the nation's principal deposit insurers (the FDIC and FSLIC) both to discipline failing institutions and to discipline or take over insolvent ones. These agencies' accrued but unreported losses far exceed their explicit financial resources. Moreover, their backlog of unresolved problem cases far exceeds the workload  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Kane, Edward J.
No room for weak links in the chain of deposit insurance reform.
Cambridge (1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Mass. 02138) : National Bureau of Economic Research, 1987
(OCoLC)1666292
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Edward J Kane; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 756572459
Description: 1 online resource.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. w2317.
Responsibility: Edward J. Kane.

Abstract:

Unrecognized and deferred losses at insured deposit institutions currently impair the capacity of the nation's principal deposit insurers (the FDIC and FSLIC) both to discipline failing institutions and to discipline or take over insolvent ones. These agencies' accrued but unreported losses far exceed their explicit financial resources. Moreover, their backlog of unresolved problem cases far exceeds the workload that their existing staffs can handle. What holds the deposit-institution system together is financial-market participants' so-far-unshakable faith that politicians and bureaucrats cannot afford to let the FDIC and FSLIC renege on the obligations that they and their predecessors have permitted these agencies to assume. Underlying this belief is a conjectural economic assessment of the strength and constancy of incentives that direct elected politicians to bail out politically sensitive enterprises. This paper addresses three tasks: (1) to clarify the defects in the information, monitoring, regulatory-response, and incentive sub-systems of federal deposit insurance that, by subsidizing institutional risk-taking, led so many deposit institutions and their insurers into economic insolvency; (2) to identify a generic mix of reforms that could in principle put the system right again; and (3) to explain how far proposals for reform that hold a place on the active legislative and regulatory agenda fall short of this ideal.

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