Does Financial Tranquility Call for Stringent Regulation?


Deepal Basak ; Yunhui Zhao

Publication Date:

May 31, 2018

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


Consistent with the Minsky hypothesis and the “volatility paradox” (Brunnermeier and Sannikov, 2014), recent empirical evidence suggests that financial crises tend to follow prolonged periods of financial stability and investor optimism. But does financial tranquility always call for more stringent regulation over time? We examine this question using a simple portfolio choice model that features the interaction between learning and externality. We evaluate the potential of a macroprudential policy to restore efficiency, and characterize the necessary and sufficient condition for the countercyclicality of the optimal regulation/macroprudential policy. Our paper implies that policymakers should not only consider the cyclical indicators “on the surface” (for example, credit growth), but also closely examine the deep structural change of the resilience of the system. The paper also highlights the importance of assigning the macroprudential policy function to independent agencies with technical expertise.


Working Paper No. 2018/123



Publication Date:

May 31, 2018



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