The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We formulate the 'High Liquidity Creation Hypothesis' (HLCH) that a proliferation in the core activity of bank liquidity creation increases failure probability. We test the HLCH in the context of Russian banking, which provides a natural field experiment due to numerous failures experienced over the past decade. Using Berger and Bouwman's (2009) liquidity creation measures as a comprehensive proxy for overall bank output, we find that high liquidity creation significantly increases the probability of bank failure; this finding survives multiple robustness checks. Our results suggest that regulatory authorities can mitigate systemic distress and reduce the costs of bank failures to society through early identification of high liquidity creators and enhanced monitoring of their funding and investment activities.