Banks Without Parachutes: Competitive Effects of Government Bail-Out Policies
We analyze the competitive effects of government bail-out policies in two models with different degrees of transparency in the banking sector. Our main result is that bail-outs lead to higher risk-taking among the protected bank’s competitors, independently of transparency. The reason is that the prospect of a bail-out induces the protected bank to expand, which intensifies competition in the deposit market, depresses other banks’ margins, and thereby increases risk-taking incentives. Contrary to conventional wisdom, protected banks may take lower risks when transparency in the banking sector is low and the deposit supply is sufficiently elastic.