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Fallacies, Irrelevant Facts, and Myths in the Discussion of Capital Regulation: Why Bank Equity is Not Expensive
by Admati, DeMarzo, Hellwig, Pfleiderer

I've just returned from the OeNB where Admati & Hellwig presented the paper. The take-home message: It's often argued that with higher capital requirements / restrictions on leverage bank's funding cost will increase. But the argument that equity is expensive is wrong because with more equity and less leverage banks will become less risky which reduces the required ROE/funding costs. And banks don't have to cut back lending when they can substitute debt with cheap equity. Unfortunately, 1. most tax systems allow interest to be deducted as an expense, which creates a debt tax shield and 2. often there is an implicit state guarantee on bank debt. This effectively penalizes equity financing.

tag : Modigliani-Miller

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