In this paper, I examine the impact of direct equity injections and troubled asset purchases on bank lending and solvency and analyze how ex ante tighter caps on leverage affect ex post decisions between both interventions. Extending the model of Bachmann (2018) by adding the government as a liquidity supplier, illiquid banks can either sell troubled assets at fire sale prices to collateralized financed liquid banks or to the government. If illiquid banks are forced to sell all troubled assets in order to meet premature withdrawals and the government is left with excess liquidity compared to direct equity injections, they can use these funds to bid up prices. Higher prices reduce future returns on buying illiquid assets and motivate liquid banks´ incentive to lend by crowding out their speculative motive for liquidity hoarding. As a result, troubled asset purchases weakly dominate direct equity injections in terms of lending and solvency, directly amplified by a drop in collateral liquidity. Additionally, regulating illiquid banks ex ante by tighter caps on leverage affects the government's decisions about ex post interventions to effectively stabilize lending and solvency conditions, as the self-reinforcing downward spiral between fire sale prices and collateral liquidity is mitigated. Hence, I find that there exists an inherent nexus between ex ante regulations and ex post interventions.
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- Department of Economics Working Paper Series