Books by Eduardo Levy Yeyati
This paper examines how public disclosure of banks’ risk exposure affects banks’ risk-taking incentives and assesses how the presence of informed depositors influences the soundness of the banking system. It finds that, when banks have complete control over the volatility of their loan portfolios, public disclosure reduces the probability of banking crises. However, when banks do not control their risk exposure, the presence of informed depositors may increase the probability of bank failures.
To cope with the self-fulfilling liquidity runs that triggered many recent financial crises, we propose the creation of a country insurance facility. The facility, which we envisage as complementary to the existing multilateral lending facilities, would provide eligible countries with automatic access to a credit line at a predetermined interest rate. Eligibility criteria should be easily verifiable, focus on debt sustainability, and take into account the currency and maturity composition of the debt. Other critical design issues considered here include the size of the facility, its duration and charges, and the exit costs for a country that loses eligibility.
This paper studies the impact of competition on the determination of interest rates and banks’ risk-taking behavior under different assumptions about deposit insurance and the dissemination of financial information. It finds that lower entry costs foster competition in deposit rate sand reduce banks’ incentives to limit risk exposure. Although higher insurance coverage amplifies this effect, two alternative arrangements (risk-based contributions to the insurance fund and public disclosure of financial information) help to reduce it. Moreover, uninsured but fully informed depositors and risk-based full deposit insurance yield the same equilibrium risk level, which is independent of entry costs. The welfare implications of the different arrangements are also explored.
This paper evaluates ways to protect highly dollarized banking systems from systemic liquidity runs (such as the ones that took place recently in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay). In view of the limitations of available (private or official) insurance schemes, and the distortions introduced by central bank lending of last resort (LOLR), the authors favor decentralized liquid foreign asset requirements on dollar deposits, supplemented by a scheme of "circuit breakers." The latter combines the use of limited dollar liquidity to ensure the convertibility of transactional deposits with a mechanism that automatically limits the convertibility of dollar term deposits once triggered by a predetermined decline in banks' liquidity.
This paper shows that a central bank, by announcing and committing ex-ante to a bailout policy that is contingent on the realization of certain states of nature (for example on the occurrence of an adverse macroeconomic shock), creates a risk-reducing “value effect” that more than outweighs the moral hazard component of such a policy.
This paper analyzes the behavior of closed-end country fund discounts, including evidence from the Mexican and East Asian crises. We find that the ratio of fund prices to their fundamental value increases dramatically during a crisis, an anomaly that we denote the “closed-end country fund puzzle.” Our results show that the puzzle relates directly to the fact that international investors are less (more) sensitive to changes in local (global) market conditions than domestic investors. This asymmetry implies that foreign participation in local markets can both help dampen a crisis in the originating country, and amplify the contagion to noncrisis countries.
Financial (unofficial) dollarization is widely seen as a critical source of financial fragility in both developing and emerging economies. This volume provides a rigorous and balanced perspective on the causes and implications of dollarization, and the basic policies and options to deal with it: the adaptation of the monetary and prudential frameworks, the development of local-currency substitutes, and the scope for limiting dollarization through administrative restrictions.
This paper presents a portfolio model of financial intermediation in which currency choice is determined by hedging decisions on both sides of a bank’s balance sheet. Minimum variance portfolio (MVP) allocations are found to provide a natural benchmark to estimate the scope for dollarization of bank deposits and loans as a function of macroeconomic uncertainty. Dollarization hysteresis is shown to occur when the expected volatility of the inflation rate is high in relation to that of the real exchange rate. The evidence shows that MVP dollarization generally approximates actual dollarization closely for a broad sample of countries, and policy implications are explored.
De facto (unofficial) dollarization, defined as the holding by residents of assets and liabilities denominated in a foreign currency, is a policy concern in an increasing number of developing economies. This paper addresses the dollarization debate from this perspective, with the goal of setting the stage for a more detailed and focused discussion of whether de-dollarization should be a policy objective and, if so, how best to pursue this objective. We review existing theories of de facto dollarization and the extent to which they are supported by the available evidence, presents the main strategies for reform, and proposes a list of policy recommendations.
In this paper, we examine how the presence of country insurance schemes affects policymakers'' incentives to undertake reforms. Such schemes (especially when made contingent on negative external shocks) are more likely to foster than to delay reform in crisis-prone volatile economies. The consequences of country insurance, however, hinge on the nature of the reforms being considered: "buffering" reforms, aimed at mitigating the cost of crises, could be partially substituted for, and ultimately discouraged by, insurance. By contrast, "enhancing" reforms that pay off more generously in the absence of a crisis are likely to be promoted.
The removal of government guarantees in borrowing countries does not eliminate the moral hazard problem posed by the existence of deposit guarantees in lender countries. The paper shows that, after restrictions on international capital flows are lifted, banks in low-risk developed countries benefit from lending funds captured in home markets at low deposit rates to high-risk/high-yield projects in emerging economies, even though these projects command lower expected returns. This, in turn, has a negative impact on bank profitability in the borrowing country, even when foreign funds are intermediated through domestic banks. The results are consistent with the surge in international bank lending flows that led to recent banking crises in Asia.