In a generally healthy and well-regulated banking system, individual banks can and usually should be allowed to fail. Allowing market discipline and supervisory intervention to weed out weak institutions minimizes moral hazard. Where vulnerability is widespread, however, the potential negative externalities associated with widespread bank failures may call for intervention beyond what can be accomplished by the market or standard supervisory instruments.1 Systemic bank restructuring comprises a comprehensive program to rehabilitate a significant part of a banking system so as to provide vital banking services efficiently on a sustainable basis. Such restructuring programs have been undertaken by some 30 Fund member countries over the last fifteen years in a range of economic and political circumstances.
Strictly speaking, the calculation of income demands complete revaluation of all assets and obligations at the end of every period. Practically, the question is: How shall the requisite value estimates be obtained?
In the long run, the business unit or source will yield more revenue to the public treasury than the individual; and the place where the income is earned will derive larger revenues than the jurisdiction of the person.
It is also obvious that the type of rules which we have been discussing, although they are unquestionably rules of binding law, have in no way the character of religious commandments, laid down absolutely, obeyed rigidly and integrally.… The bundles of fish, the measures of yams, or bunches of taro, can only be roughly assessed, and naturally the quantities exchanged vary according to whether the fishing season or the harvest is more abundant.
The goal of systemic bank restructuring is to restore or create a sound banking system that can provide efficient banking services to the economy on a sustainable basis. Although this goal is expressed in terms of the system as a whole, its accomplishment requires a wide array of microeconomic, institutional, and regulatory measures, some of which must be geared to the circumstances of individual banks. This Chapter provides a framework for assessing restructuring strategies and instruments by linking these to the framework for sound banking developed in Bank Soundness and Macroeconomic Policy (Lindgren, Garcia, and Saal, 1996). The determinants of a sound banking system developed in that volume are strong internal governance by bank managers and owners, external governance by markets and supervisors, and a generally stable economy. It follows then, that a program to restructure a banking system must resolve problems at the level of the individual banks, the banking system, and the macroeconomy.