The Decline of Too Big to Fail

The Decline of Too Big to Fail

December 1,2019Working Paper No. 3845

For globally systemically important banks (G-SIBs) with U.S. headquarters, we find large postLehman reductions in market-implied probabilities of government bailout, along with big increases in debt financing costs for these banks after controlling for insolvency risk. The data are consistent with significant effectiveness for the official sector’s post-Lehman G-SIB failure-resolution intentions, laws, and rules. G-SIB creditors now appear to expect to suffer much larger losses in the event that a G-SIB approaches insolvency. In this sense, we estimate a major decline of “too big to fail.”