Dividends and Bank Capital in the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009
AbstractThe headline numbers appear to show that even as banks and financial intermediaries suffered large credit losses in the financial crisis of 2007-09, they raised substantial amounts of new capital, both from private investors and through government-funded capital injections. However, on closer inspection the composition of bank capital shifted radically from one based on common equity to that based on debt-like hybrid claims such as preferred equity and subordinated debt. The erosion of common equity was exacerbated by large scale payments of dividends, in spite of widely anticipated credit losses. Dividend payments represent a transfer from creditors (and potentially taxpayers) to equity holders in violation of the priority of debt over equity. The dwindling pool of common equity in the banking system may have been one reason for the continued reluctance by banks to lend over this period. We draw conclusions on how capital regulation may be reformed in light of our findings.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8801.
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Viral V. Acharya & Irvind Gujral & Nirupama Kulkarni & Hyun Song Shin, 2011. "Dividends and Bank Capital in the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009," NBER Working Papers 16896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
- G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
- G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2012-03-28 (Banking)
- NEP-CBA-2012-03-28 (Central Banking)
- NEP-REG-2012-03-28 (Regulation)
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