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Economic Quarterly

First Quarter 2015

Living Wills: A Tool for Curbing Too Big to Fail

Arantxa Jarque and David A. Price

Economist Arantxa Jarque and senior editor David A. Price explore an innovation of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which requires the largest and most complex financial institutions to create resolution plans to follow if the institutions fall into severe financial distress. In these plans, or "living wills," the institutions must give regulators a roadmap for resolving them via the bankruptcy process -- without disrupting the financial system or resorting to public bailouts. Jarque and Price argue that living wills are a tool that regulators can use to curb the "too big to fail" problem by decreasing the odds that policymakers will feel compelled to rescue large, complex firms for fear that their failure would damage the economy.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.21144/eq1010105

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