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In Rememberance: World Trade Center (WTC)

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Mingo, John J., "Policy Implications of the Federal Reserve Study of Credit Risk Models at Major U.S. Banking Institutions", Journal of Banking & Finance, Vol. 24, No. 1-2, (January 2000), pp. 15-33.

Abstract: The current regulatory capital standard for banks -- the Basle Accord -- is a lose/lose proposition. Regulators cannot conclude that a bank with a nominally high regulatory capital ratio has a correspondingly low probability of insolvency. On the other hand, because the Accord often levies a capital charge out of proportion to the true economic risk of a position, banks must engage in "regulatory capital arbitrage" (or exit their low risk business lines). Since such arbitrage is costly, the capital regulations keep banks from maximizing the value of the financial firm. Regulators need to answer three questions: (1) What are the goals of prudential regulation and supervision? (2) How should bank "soundness" be defined and quantified? (3) At what level should a mini- mum "soundness standard be set in order to meet the (perhaps conflicting) goals of prudential regulation and supervision? Possible answers to these questions are at- tempted, then the paper analyzes the two leading proposals for rationalizing the Accord -- a "modified-Basle" (or ratings-based) approach and a "full-models" approach.

JEL Classification: G2, G18, G28.

Keywords: Banks, Capital, Regulation, Credit risk.

Download paper (140K PDF) 19 pages

Related reading: Credit Risk Models at Major US Banking Institutions: Current State of the Art and Implications for Assessments of Capital Adequacy