Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff members and are published to elicit comment and to encourage debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues. This Web-only series replaced Staff Position Notes in January 2011
Jihad Dagher, Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Luc Laeven, Lev Ratnovski, and Hui Tong
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
The appropriate level of bank capital and, more generally, a bank's capacity to absorb losses, has been at the core of the post-crisis policy debate. This paper contributes to the debate by focusing on how much capital would have been needed to avoid imposing losses on bank creditors or resorting to public recapitalizations of banks in past banking crises. The paper also looks at the welfare costs of tighter capital regulation by reviewing the evidence on its potential impact on bank credit and lending rates. Its findings broadly support the range of loss absorbency suggested by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Basel Committee for systemically important banks.