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Opitmal Capital requirements over the Business and Financial Cycles

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Systemic Risk: Mathematical Modelling and Interdisciplinary Approaches

I propose a simple theory of intertwined business and financial cycles, where financial regulation both optimally responds to and influences the cycles. In this model, financial frictions lead to excessive aggregate lending by the financial sector. In response, the regulator sets capital requirements to trade off expected output against financial stability. The capital requirement that ensures investment efficiency depends on the state of the economy and, because of a general equilibrium effect, its stringency increases with aggregate banking capital. A regulation that fails to take this effect into account would exacerbate economic fluctuations and result in excessive aggregate lending during a boom. It would also allow for an excessive build up of risk in the financial sector, which implies that, at the peak of a boom, even a small adverse shock could trigger a banking sector collapse, followed by an excessively severe credit crunch.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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