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The role of large banks in the recent U.S. banking crisis

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Author Info

  • John H. Boyd
  • Mark Gertler

Abstract

This article argues that the poor performance of the U.S. banking industry in the 1980s was due mainly to the risk-taking of the largest banks, which was encouraged by the U.S. government's too-big-to-fail policy. The article documents the recent trend toward riskier bank portfolios and the corresponding decline in bank profitability. A breakdown of the data by location and by asset size reveals that bank problems were concentrated in areas with troubled industries (oil, real estate, and agriculture) and among banks with the largest assets. In a statistical study controlling for location, asset size remains a significant factor in bank performance. The article concludes with a rough quantitative estimate of the cost to the industry of the poor performance of large banks. ; The article is an abbreviated version of a paper published by MIT Press in the NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its journal Quarterly Review.

Volume (Year): (1994)
Issue (Month): Win ()
Pages: 2-21

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1994:i:win:p:2-21:n:v.18no.1

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Keywords: Banks and banking - History ; Banks and banking;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hakenes, Hendrik & Schnabel, Isabel, 2004. "Banks without Parachutes - Competitive Effects of Government Bail-out Policies," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 8, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Gianni De Nicoló & M. G. Zephirin & Philip F. Bartholomew & Jahanara Zaman, 2003. "Bank Consolidation, Internationalization and Conglomeration," IMF Working Papers 03/158, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Jacques Le Cacheux & Thomas Lambert & Audrey Mahuet, 1997. "L'épidémie de crises bancaires dans les pays de l'OCDE," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 61(1), pages 93-138.
  4. Martin Hellwig, 2009. "Systemic Risk in the Financial Sector: An Analysis of the Subprime-Mortgage Financial Crisis," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(2), pages 129-207, June.
  5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/2097 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Sangkyun Park, 1994. "Explanations for the increased riskiness of banks in the 1980s," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 3-24.
  7. Alexander Schaefer & Isabel Schnabel & Beatrice Weder di Mauro, 2013. "Financial Sector Reform After the Crisis: Has Anything Happened?," Working Papers 1304, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 24 May 2013.
  8. Luo, Xueming, 2003. "Evaluating the profitability and marketability efficiency of large banks: An application of data envelopment analysis," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 627-635, August.
  9. Dimitrios P. Louzis & Aggelos T. Vouldis & Vasilios L. Metaxas, 2010. "Macroeconomic and bank-specific determinants of non-performing loans in Greece: a comparative study of mortgage, business and consumer loan portfolios," Working Papers 118, Bank of Greece.
  10. Pablo Alonso González & Irene Albarrán Lozano & Andrea Giuliodori Khalil, 2006. "El Impacto del descenso en los Tipos de Interés sobre el margen financiero de las Cajas de Ahorros españolas," Revista de Economía y Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas, vol. 0(1), pages 98-136, January.
  11. William R. Emmons & R. Alton Gilbert & Timothy J. Yeager, 2002. "Scale economies and geographic diversification as forces driving community bank mergers," Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers 2002-02, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  12. Marshall, David A. & Prescott, Edward Simpson, 2001. "Bank capital regulation with and without state-contingent penalties," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 139-184, June.
  13. Horst Gischer & Toni Richter, 2011. "'Global Player' im Bankenwesen - ökonomisch sinnvoll oder problembehaftet?," FEMM Working Papers 110012, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  14. William R. Emmons & R. Alton Gilbert & Timothy J. Yeager, 2001. "The importance of scale economies and geographic diversification in community bank mergers," Working Papers 2001-024, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  15. Gerald Carlino & Robert DeFina, 1997. "The differential regional effects of monetary policy: evidence from the U.S. States," Working Papers 97-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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