Making Banks Safe.

Kim Schoenholtz

By Kim Schoenholtz and Stephen Cecchetti

The regulatory reforms that followed the financial crisis of 2007-09 created a financial system that is far more resilient than the one we had 15 years ago. Today, banks and some nonbanks face more rigorous capital and liquidity requirements. Improved collateral rules for market-making activities can dampen shocks. And, some institutions are subject to well-structured resolution regimes.

Yet, the events of March 2023 make clear that the system remains fragile. The progress thus far is simply not enough. What else needs to be done?

In a recent paper (Cecchetti and Schoenholtz 2023), we address this critical question. Our assessment of the banking system turmoil of 2023 leads us to several obvious conclusions, some of which clearly escaped both bank managers and their supervisors. Perhaps the simplest and most significant is that banks can survive either risky assets or volatile funding, but not both. Another is that supervisors are willing to treat some banks as systemic in death, but not in life.

Read the full VoxEU article.
Kim Schoenholtz is Clinical Professor Emeritus at NYU Stern.