Gary Gorton’s new paper

Find it here, with this abstract:

'shadow banking system' at the heart of the current credit crisis is,
in fact, a real banking system – and is vulnerable to a banking panic.
Indeed, the events starting in August 2007 are a banking panic. A
banking panic is a systemic event because the banking system cannot
honor its obligations and is insolvent. Unlike the historical banking
panics of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the current banking panic
is a wholesale panic, not a retail panic. In the earlier episodes,
depositors ran to their banks and demanded cash in exchange for their
checking accounts. Unable to meet those demands, the banking system
became insolvent. The current panic involved financial firms 'running'
on other financial firms by not renewing sale and repurchase agreements
(repo) or increasing the repo margin ('haircut'), forcing massive
deleveraging, and resulting in the banking system being insolvent. The
earlier episodes have many features in common with the current crisis,
and examination of history can help understand the current situation
and guide thoughts about reform of bank regulation. New regulation can
facilitate the functioning of the shadow banking system, making it less
vulnerable to panic.

Addendum: Arnold Kling summarizes some of the recommendations:

1. Senior tranches of securitizations of approved asset classes should be insured by the government.
2. The government must supervise and examine "banks," i.e.,
securitizations, rather than rely on ratings agencies. That is, the
choices of asset class, portfolio, and tranching must be overseen be
3. Entry into securitization should be limited, and any firm that enters is deemed a "bank" and subject to supervision.


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