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Too Big to Fail: Motives, Countermeasures, and the Dodd-Frank Response (Shull B.)

Regulation Too-Big-To-Fail

Abstract Government forbearance, support, and bailouts of banks and other financial institutions deemed "too big to fail" (TBTF) are widely recognized as encouraging large companies to take excessive risk, placing smaller ones at a competitive disadvantage and influencing banks in general to grow inefficiently to a "protected" size and complexity. During periods of financial stress, with bailouts under way, government officials have promised "never again." During periods of financial stability and economic growth, they have sanctioned large-bank growth by merger and ignored the ongoing competitive imbalance. Repeated efforts to do away with TBTF practices over the last several decades have been unsuccessful. Congress has typically found the underlying problem to be inadequate regulation and/or supervision that has permitted important financial companies to undertake excessive risk. It has responded by strengthening regulation and supervision. Others have located the underlying problem in inadequate regulators, suggesting the need for modifying the incentives that motivate their behavior. A third explanation is that TBTF practices reflect the government's perception that large financial firms serve a public interest-they constitute a "national resource" to be preserved. In this case, a structural solution would be necessary. Breakups of the largest financial firms would distribute the "public interest" among a larger group than the handful that currently hold a disproportionate concentration of financial resources. 
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Libref/ Shull B. (2012) "Too Big to Fail: Motives, Countermeasures, and the Dodd-Frank Response", Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 709
© Программирование — Александр Красильников, 2008
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