Leverage and risk in US commercial banking in the light of the current financial crisis
AbstractIn this paper we study the relationship between leverage and risk in commercial banking market. We employ a panel data set that consists of the biggest US commercial banks and which extends from 2002 to 2010 thus covering both the years before the outbreak of the current financial crisis as well as those followed. We make clear distinctions among different leverage types like on- and off-balance sheet leverage as well as short- and long-term leverage, which have never been made in the relevant literature. Our findings provide evidence that excessive leverage, both explicit and hidden off-the-balance sheet, rendered large banks vulnerable to financial shocks thus contributing to the fragility of the whole banking industry. In a similar vein, a direct link between short- and long-term leverage with risk is reported before the crisis, showing that leverage has been one of the key factors responsible for the serious liquidity shortages that were revealed after 2007 when the crisis erupted. We also demonstrate that banks which concentrate on traditional banking activities typically carry less risk exposure than those that are involved with modern financial instruments. Overall, our results provide a better understanding of the role of leverage in destabilizing the whole system whereas at the same time contribute to the current discussion on the resilience of the banking sector through the strengthening of the existing regulatory framework.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg in its series LSF Research Working Paper Series with number 10-12.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Bâtiment K2, 4, rue Albert Borschette, L-1246 Luxembourg-Kirchberg
Phone: +352 46 66 44 6335
Fax: +352 46 66 44 6811
Web page: http://wwwen.uni.lu/luxembourg_school_of_finance
More information through EDIRC
financial crisis; risk; leverage; commercial banking;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-12-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2010-12-18 (Banking)
- NEP-FMK-2010-12-18 (Financial Markets)
- NEP-RMG-2010-12-18 (Risk Management)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Mariana Laverde & Esteban Gómez & Miguel Ángel Morales Mosquera, . "Measuring Systemic Risk in the Colombian Financial System: Systemic Contingent Claims Approach," Temas de Estabilidad Financiera 060, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
- Ojo, Marianne, 2012. "Bailouts and longer term refinancing operations (LTROs): when temporary cures generate longer term economic concerns," MPRA Paper 38483, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Ojo, Marianne, 2010.
"Preparing for Basel IV (whilst commending Basel III) : why liquidity risks still present a challenge to regulators in prudential supervision ( Part II),"
32630, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Ojo, Marianne, 2010. "Preparing for Basel IV (whilst commending Basel III) : why liquidity risks still present a challenge to regulators in prudential supervision ( Part II)," MPRA Paper 31689, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Gaston Giordana & Ingmar Schumacher, 2012. "An Empirical Study on the Impact of Basel III Standards on Banks? Default Risk: The Case of Luxembourg," BCL working papers 79, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martine Zenner).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.