SAFE Working Paper No. 292

Recapitalization, Bailout, and Long-run Welfare in a Dynamic Model of Banking

This paper studies the link between bank recapitalization and welfare in a dynamic production economy. The model features financial frictions because banks benefit of a cost advantage at monitoring firms and face costly equity issuance. The competitive equilibrium outcome is inefficient because agents do not internalize the effects banks’ capitalization over the allocation of capital, its price and, in turn, firms investments. It follows, individual recapitalizations are sub-optimal and bailout policies may benefit social welfare in the long-run. Bailouts improve capital allocation in states where aggregate banks are poorly capitalized, therefore enhancing their market valuation, fostering investments, and stabilizing the economy recovery path.