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Warehouse banking

Jason Roderick Donaldson, Giorgia Piacentino and Anjan Thakor

Journal of Financial Economics, 2018, vol. 129, issue 2, 250-267

Abstract: We develop a theory of banking that explains why banks started out as commodities warehouses. We show that warehouses become banks because their superior storage technology allows them to enforce the repayment of loans most effectively. Further, interbank markets emerge endogenously to support this enforcement mechanism. Even though warehouses store deposits of real goods, they make loans by writing new fake warehouse receipts, rather than by taking deposits out of storage. Our theory helps to explain how modern banks create funding liquidity and why they combine warehousing (custody and deposit-taking), lending, and private money creation within the same institutions. It also casts light on a number of contemporary regulatory policies.

Keywords: Banking; Private money; Financial history (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 G28 N20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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