Solvency Runs, Sunspot Runs, and International Bailouts

2001-05 | March 1, 2001

This paper introduces a model of international lender of last resort (ILLR) activity under asymmetric information. The ILLR is unable to distinguish between runs due to debtor insolvency and those which are the result of pure sunspots. Nevertheless, the ILLR can elicit the underlying state of nature from informed creditors by offering terms consistent with generating a separating equilibrium. Achieving the separating equilibrium requires that the ILLR lends to the debtor at sufficiently high rates. This adverse electing problem provides an alternative rationale for Bagehot’s Principle of last-resort lending at high rates of interest to the moral hazard motivation commonly found in the literature.

Article Citation

M. Spiegel, Mark. 2001. “Solvency Runs, Sunspot Runs, and International Bailouts,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2001-05. Available at https://doi.org/10.24148/wp2001-05

About the Author
Mark Spiegel
Mark Spiegel is a senior policy advisor in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Learn more about Mark Spiegel