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The risk of an unexpectedly high level of loan defaults can be especially difficult for banks because a bank’s liabilities, namely the deposits of its customers, can be withdrawn quickly, but many of the bank’s assets like loans and bonds will only be repaid over years or even decades.This asset-liability time mismatch —a bank’s liabilities can be withdrawn in the short term while its assets are repaid in the long term—can cause severe problems for a bank. For example, imagine a bank that has loaned a substantial amount of money at a certain interest rate, but then sees interest rates rise substantially. The bank can find itself in a precarious situation. If it does not raise the interest rate it pays to depositors, then deposits will flow to other institutions that offer the higher interest rates that are now prevailing. However, if the bank raises the interest rates that it pays to depositors, it may end up in a situation where it is paying a higher interest rate to depositors than it is collecting from those past loans that were made at lower interest rates. Clearly, the bank cannot survive in the long term if it is paying out more in interest to depositors than it is receiving from borrowers.

How can banks protect themselves against an unexpectedly high rate of loan defaults and against the risk of an asset-liability time mismatch? One strategy is for a bank to diversify    its loans, which means lending to a variety of customers. For example, suppose a bank specialized in lending to a niche market—say, making a high proportion of its loans to construction companies that build offices in one downtown area. If that one area suffers an unexpected economic downturn, the bank will suffer large losses. However, if a bank loans both to consumers who are buying homes and cars and also to a wide range of firms in many industries and geographic areas, the bank is less exposed to risk. When a bank diversifies its loans, those categories of borrowers who have an unexpectedly large number of defaults will tend to be balanced out, according to random chance, by other borrowers who have an unexpectedly low number of defaults. Thus, diversification of loans can help banks to keep a positive net worth. However, if a widespread recession occurs that touches many industries and geographic areas, diversification will not help.

Along with diversifying their loans, banks have several other strategies to reduce the risk of an unexpectedly large number of loan defaults. For example, banks can sell some of the loans they make in the secondary loan market, as described earlier, and instead hold a greater share of assets in the form of government bonds or reserves. Nevertheless, in a lengthy recession, most banks will see their net worth decline because a higher share of loans will not be repaid in tough economic times.

Key concepts and summary

Banks facilitate the use of money for transactions in the economy because people and firms can use bank accounts when selling or buying goods and services, when paying a worker or being paid, and when saving money or receiving a loan. In the financial capital market, banks are financial intermediaries; that is, they operate between savers who supply financial capital and borrowers who demand loans. A balance sheet (sometimes called a T-account) is an accounting tool which lists assets in one column and liabilities in another column. The liabilities of a bank are its deposits. The assets of a bank include its loans, its ownership of bonds, and its reserves (which are not loaned out). The net worth of a bank is calculated by subtracting the bank’s liabilities from its assets. Banks run a risk of negative net worth if the value of their assets declines. The value of assets can decline because of an unexpectedly high number of defaults on loans, or if interest rates rise and the bank suffers an asset-liability time mismatch in which the bank is receiving a low rate of interest on its long-term loans but must pay the currently higher market rate of interest to attract depositors. Banks can protect themselves against these risks by choosing to diversify their loans or to hold a greater proportion of their assets in bonds and reserves. If banks hold only a fraction of their deposits as reserves, then the process of banks’ lending money, those loans being re-deposited in banks, and the banks making additional loans will create money in the economy.

Problems

A bank has deposits of $400. It holds reserves of $50. It has purchased government bonds worth $70. It has made loans of $500. Set up a T-account balance sheet for the bank, with assets and liabilities, and calculate the bank’s net worth.

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References

Credit Union National Association. 2014. "Monthly Credit Union Estimates." Last accessed March 4, 2015. http://www.cuna.org/Research-And-Strategy/Credit-Union-Data-And-Statistics/.

Dallas Federal Reserve. 2013. "Ending `Too Big To Fail': A Proposal for Reform Before It's Too Late". Accessed March 4, 2015. http://www.dallasfed.org/news/speeches/fisher/2013/fs130116.cfm.

Richard W. Fisher. “Ending 'Too Big to Fail': A Proposal for Reform Before It's Too Late (With Reference to Patrick Henry, Complexity and Reality) Remarks before the Committee for the Republic, Washington, D.C. Dallas Federal Reserve. January 16, 2013.

“Commercial Banks in the U.S.” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Accessed November 2013. http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/USNUM.

Questions & Answers

What is Bank rate
Arranolla Reply
How defined macroeconomics
Arranolla Reply
Macroeconomics is the study of economy wide phenomena,including inflation,economic growth and unemployment.
munna
Someone tells you "That theory has no practical value because it is abstract, it is not real , it exist only in the mind of the theorist". Refute the Statement.
johan Reply
Truly theory sometimes look like an abstract, but some theory has been tested scientifically and we believed they exist. just like the law of demand which States that the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded vice versa. But the rule does not hold in luxury goods.
Ganiyu
Ty for the answer sir..😘
johan
Is it right
Arranolla
explain estimation problem please.
Nnenna Reply
Which is the role of household in the Government policy?
Giada Reply
What is the role of household in the Government policy?
Giada Reply
households are very important because the consumption of the goods and services are by people. households play a big role in that
Raghava
And how about work? Can they influence the government policy through the work market?
Giada
yes household can influence government policy. you see it is all about the demand and supply of commodities. Demand generated by household has to be fulfilled by the industries which in turn ofcourse influence government policies
Rishav
Do the neoclassica theory and the Keynesian one have a different vision about the household's influence in the Government policy?
Giada
what are the causes of voluntary and involuntary unemployment?
JONATHAN Reply
involentary the unemployment is when say someone is working part-time but wishes to work full time
Warface
in most of economists view a person is involuntarily unemployed if he want to move for better wage rate at some point above the market equilibrium, that he stays right now.
Salman
what are the two type of intermediation and whats there differences?
Simonsakala Reply
This might help friend. ***economicshelp.org/blog/6318/economics/functions-and-examples-of-financial-intermediaries/
Ti
ok
Habeeph
I'm new myself. I couldn't explain it very well. That's why I gave the link.
Ti
OK tnx
Habeeph
i dont know sir pls explain anybody
Avinash
thanks...ti khu
Simonsakala
never worry
Habeeph
The are many types of intermediaries
Mohammed
You're welcome Simonsakala Musaka!
Ti
A lot of the content is verbatim what's in my College textbook except this book explains it more whereas my College Book seems to think I should already know haha
Ti
please help explain mpc
Nnenna Reply
MPC is partly the each income to expenditure..
Marusaha
s the proportion of an aggregate raise in pay that a consumer spends on the consumption of goods and services, as opposed to saving it.
Kalyango
it's simply how much of one's income spent on consumption. so if on the average people in an economy spend 65% of their income on goods and services and save 35%, the MPC for that economy is 0.65 and their MPS is 0.35. The MPS is how much of their income not spent, but saved. I hope this helps.
Georgina
Georgina explained it impeccably.
Thabiso
Consumption is defined as the usage of goods or services to satisfy human wants.
Bachabor Reply
What is Marginal Propensity to Consume (MPC)?
Bachabor
What is Marginal Propensity to Consume(MPC)?
Bachabor
MPC means that when disposable increase, personal consumer spending increases also.
Thabiso
When debit and credit entries on the balance of payments are not balanced what is it called?
Thabiso Reply
unbalanced balance sheet
Warface
Thank you very much.
Thabiso
what is consumption
Ameer
the use of goods and services by households
Sonali
What is economics?
munna Reply
Economy is a subject which deals with the economic activities of human being such as production, consumption,and distribution
Arranolla
what is demand
ddamba Reply
is the desire backed by ability to buy a certain commodity at given price in given period of time.
Kalyango
yes
Raj
yas
Ashutos
willingness is a must
Sumaya
what's macroeconomics?
munna
Macroeconomics is the study of how society as a whole (an entire country's economy) chooses to allocate and use scarce resources to produce, consume and exchange in the market
Baaba
Thanks!
munna
what is economy
Ameer
How do you distinguish leading indicators from coincident indicators to lagging indicators?
Thabiso Reply
What is externalities and environmental taxation
Ganiyu Reply
environmental taxes are kind of economics instruments to adress environmental problems.
Swapnil
What is the reason behind present increasing interest rate in Argentina? Why its currency is devaluating?
Saujanya
Due to lot of money supply
Arranolla
Due to supply of money...when money supply is raise,interest rate decreases but when it's cut or decrease ,it increases interest rate.So in Argentina,with regards to money supply,interest rate will only increase when money supply decreases which in turn with higher interest rate devalue currency.
Emmanuel

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Source:  OpenStax, Macroeconomics. OpenStax CNX. Jun 16, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11626/1.10
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