Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Reform of Federal Deposit Insurance

Cebula, Richard (1992): The Reform of Federal Deposit Insurance. Published in: Southern Economic Journal , Vol. 59, No. 4 (26 April 1993): pp. 833-835.

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In the first essay, Calomiris argues that the most desirable means by which to achieve banking system stability is to permit unlimited branch banking combined with the type of privately administered formal deposit insurance programs of antebellum Indiana, Ohio, and Iowa. In the second essay, Barth and Bartholomew argue convincingly that the major culprit in the S&L crisis is the existing structure of the federal deposit insurance system. They take the view that the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act was seriously flawed for its failure to adequately restructure the federal deposit insurance system. Brumbaugh and Litan express the view that due to the widespread use of accounting onventions to conceal balance sheet weaknesses, the number and assets of market-value insolvent banks cannot be known with any certainty. Kane argues that government deposit insurers have hidden or unacknowledged objectives and that these objectives conflict with the presumed long term goals of protecting depositors of modest means and preventing runs in a cost-effective manner. Romer and Weingast demonstrate how politicians benefited by keeping taxpayers uniformed about the thrift crisis and by establishing and enforcing a policy of forbearance. Chirinko and Guill quantitatively examine how macroeconomic shocks affect depository institutions. They argue that major problems can be encountered unless approaches to deposit-insurance reform and regulatory reform explicitly and carefully consider the impacts of such macroeconomic shocks on these institutions. Kaufman observes that, since 1974, the Federal Reserve has provided lender of last resort (LLR) assistance to prolong the life insolvent banks deemed too large to fail (TLTF). He argues that the LLR assistance in recent years has not saved most banks but has provided uninsured depositors time to flee without losses. It has frequently been argues that accounting techniques have played a significant part in the interaction of depository institutions and federal deposit insurance regulation. The last two papers in this book focus on the attributes of market-value accounting.

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