Bank Examiners’ Information and Expertise and Their Role in Monitoring and Disciplining Banks Before and During the Panic of 1893
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.
The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and its staff.