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Can we explain banks' capital structures?

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  • Mitchell Berlin
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    Abstract

    Bank capital has been much in the news during the recent financial crisis. In 2008 and 2009 the U.S. government injected $235 billion of capital into the banking system as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). In 2009, bank regulators carried out a full-scale evaluation of the capital adequacy of 19 large banking organizations, ultimately requiring 10 of these organizations to increase their capital levels. While most commentators agree that regulatory capital levels are too low for large organizations — especially large organizations that create systemic risks — financial economists have only recently been paying attention to what factors actually govern banks’ capital choices. In “Can We Explain Banks’ Capital Structures?,” Mitchell Berlin discusses how understanding bank capital decisions over the 20-year period prior to the recent crisis can provide insights that may help us to evaluate reform proposals.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its journal Business Review.

    Volume (Year): (2011)
    Issue (Month): Q2 ()
    Pages: 1-11

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:2011:i:q2:p:1-11

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    Keywords: Bank capital;

    References

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    1. Allen N. Berger & Richard J. Herring & Giorgio P. Szego, 1995. "The role of capital in financial institutions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Berger, Allen N, 1995. "The Relationship between Capital and Earnings in Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 432-56, May.
    3. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, 08.
    4. Samu Peura & Jussi Keppo, 2006. "Optimal Bank Capital with Costly Recapitalization," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 2163-2202, July.
    5. Allen Berger & Robert DeYoung & Mark Flannery & David Lee & Ozde Oztekin, 2008. "How do large banking organizations manage their capital ratio?," Research Working Paper RWP 08-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    6. Jeffrey A. Wurgler & Malcolm P. Baker, 2001. "Market Timing and Capital Structure," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm181, Yale School of Management.
    7. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    8. Reint Gropp & Florian Heider, 2010. "The Determinants of Bank Capital Structure," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(4), pages 587-622.
    9. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, . "Testing Tradeoff and Pecking Order Predictions about Dividends and Debt.”," CRSP working papers 506, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    10. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
    11. Xin Chang & Sudipto Dasgupta, 2009. "Target Behavior and Financing: How Conclusive Is the Evidence?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1767-1796, 08.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nicole Boyson & Rüdiger Fahlenbrach & René M. Stulz, 2014. "Why Do Banks Practice Regulatory Arbitrage? Evidence from Usage of Trust Preferred Securities," NBER Working Papers 19984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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