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In Rememberance: World Trade Center (WTC)

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A Guide to Choosing Absolute Bank Capital Requirements

by Mark Carey of the Federal Reserve Board

May 2002

Abstract: Resampling implementation of a stress-scenario approach to estimating portfolio default loss distributions is proposed as the basis for estimates of the appropriate absolute level of economic capital allocations for portfolio credit risk. Estimates are presented for stress scenarios of varying severity. Implications of use of different analysis time horizons are analyzed. Results for a numeraire portfolio are quite sensitive to such variations. Although the analysis is framed in terms of recent proposals to revise regulatory capital requirements for banks, the arguments and results are also relevant for bankers making capital structure decisions.

JEL Classification: G11, G28, G10, G20.

Keywords: risk management, credit risk, bank regulation, capital requirements.

Published in: Journal of Banking & Finance, Vol. 26, No. 5, (May 2002), pp. 929-951.

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