NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Bank Examiners' Information and Expertise and Their Role in Monitoring and Disciplining Banks Before and During the Panic of 1893

Charles W. Calomiris, Mark Carlson

NBER Working Paper No. 24460
Issued in March 2018
NBER Program(s):Corporate Finance Program, Program on the Development of the American Economy

We examine whether examiners were informed and contributed to the health of the banking sector. Information included quantitative information that was eventually made public, quantitative information that remained private, and subjective information dependent on the examiner’s production of additional, “soft” information that informed examiner assessments of the quality of bank assets and management. All three types of information were useful for gauging the condition of the bank, and affected bank behavior, including a publicly observable signal (skipping a dividend payment). Participants in the market for bank liabilities reacted to this signal in ways that promoted market discipline.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24460

 
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