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Title: Essays on banking
Author: Coulter, Brian R. L.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This work consists of five separate essays that examine the banking industry from a number of viewpoints. In the first essay, I consider how the ratchet effect interacts with workers' ability to cooperate to determine effort provision in teams. I show how the dominant constraint varies with both the size of the team and the members' ability to monitor each other's effort. Small teams tend to have their effort provision constrained by the ratchet effect; large teams are instead constrained by the inability of the team members to demand effort from each other. In the second essay, I examine the phenomenon of large team transfers in professional service firms, especially investment banks. I argue that large team moves occur because employees benefit by working with the most talented coworkers. Above-average teams may move together to effectively exclude younger, less-talented workers. These team transfers are optimal when employees are remunerated with team-based bonuses, which may explain their significance in investment banking. In the third essay, I consider the securitization market. First, I provide an explanation for equilibrium credit ratings inflation that does not require investor irrationality. Second, I argue that moral hazard in securitization results in banks either selling the entirety of securitized products, or none at all. Finally, I consider a number of possible government interventions in the market and conclude that many proposed interventions are either ineffectual or counterproductive. In the fourth essay, we design an improved LIBOR reporting mechanism. This mechanism, which we name the "whistleblower mechanism," uses the revealed preference of other banks to determine the borrowing rate of a given bank. Truthful reporting is the sole equilibrium of the mechanism that we design; the mechanism is budget-balanced. In the fifth essay, we consider the analogy between systemic risk and pollution. We argue that an ex post tax cannot replicate capital regulation because of a 'polluter cannot pay' problem. Secondly, we show an equivalency result between ex ante taxation and capital regulation. We then show that unless the ex ante tax is levied in capital, however, it may perversely increase the amount of debt in the financial system. We argue for further capital regulation.
Supervisor: Morrison, Alan D.; Shapiro, Joel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Financial economics ; banking ; finance ; economics ; banking regulation