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Macro-effects of higher capital and liquidity requirements for banks

Robert-Paul Berben, Beata Bierut, Jan Willem End () and Jan Kakes ()

DNB Occasional Studies from Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department

Abstract: The crisis has demonstrated that the ability of banks to absorb shocks needs to be strengthened. The financial tensions that have emerged repeatedly since 2007 could assume such serious proportions because the exposure of the banks was too high and too risky in relation to their capital reserves. As a result, they had too little capacity to absorb the losses on the market positions they had taken and on the loans they had granted. Banks were forced to respond by reducing their highrisk positions. The liquidity buffers held by banks were also generally inadequate, making them vulnerable when market liquidity dried up. Against this backdrop, investors lost confidence at the height of the crisis in the autumn of 2008, and governments had to step in by recapitalising some banks and guaranteeing bank debts. Central banks made liquidity more readily available because the banks were unable to raise funding in the markets, including the interbank market.

Date: 2010-10
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