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Mr. George G. Kaufman and Mr. Steven A. Seelig

collapse of other firms. The risk of such actual or perceived damage is often a popular justification for explicit or implicit government-provided or sponsored safety nets under banks, including explicit deposit insurance and implicit government guarantees, such as “too-big-to-fail” (TBTF), that may protect de jure uninsured depositors and possibly other bank stakeholders against some or all of the loss. 2 But even with such guarantees, bank failures still invoke widespread fear. In part, this reflects a concern that protected and/or unprotected depositors may not

Mr. George G. Kaufman and Mr. Steven A. Seelig
Losses may accrue to depositors at insolvent banks both at and after the time of official resolution. Losses at resolution occur because of poor closure rules and regulatory forbearance. Losses after resolution occur if depositors' access to their claims is delayed or "frozen." While the sources and implications of losses at resolution have been analyzed previously, the sources and implications of losses after resolution have received little attention. This paper examines the causes of delayed depositors' access to their funds at resolved banks, describes how the FDIC provides immediate access, reports on a special survey of access practices in other countries, and analyzes the costs and benefits of delayed access in terms of both the effects on market discipline and depositor pressure to protect all deposits.