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Capital Shortfall: A New Approach to Ranking and Regulating Systemic Risks

Viral V. Acharya (), Robert F. Engle and Matthew Richardson

American Economic Review, 2012, vol. 102, issue 3, pages 59-64

Abstract: The financial crisis of 2007-2009 has given way to the sovereign debt crisis of 2010-2012, yet many of the banking issues remain the same. We discuss a method to estimate the capital that a financial firm would need to raise if we have another financial crisis. This measure of capital shortfall is based on publicly available information but is conceptually similar to the stress tests conducted by US and European regulators. We argue that this measure summarizes the major characteristics of systemic risk and provides a reliable interpretation of the past and current financial crises.

Date: 2012
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