Regulatory Forbearance Policies And Zombie Lending

Dr. Kulkarni, along with co-authors, examines asset-quality forbearance policies in India that allowed banks to lower capital provisioning requirements for loans under temporary liquidity stress. Her research shows that stressed banks increase lending to low-solvency firms, potentially reallocating credit away from solvent to zombie firms. This pattern that persists even after forbearance is withdrawn. Her findings suggest that forbearance provided banks with an incentive to hide true asset quality, and a license to engage in regulatory arbitrage potentially sowing the seeds for a banking crises.