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Why Did Some Banks Perform Better During the Credit Crisis? A Cross-Country Study of the Impact of Governance and Regulation

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  • Andrea Beltratti
  • René M. Stulz

Abstract

Though overall bank performance from July 2007 to December 2008 was the worst since at least the Great Depression, there is significant variation in the cross-section of stock returns of large banks across the world during that period. We use this variation to evaluate the importance of factors that have been discussed as having contributed to the poor performance of banks during the credit crisis. More specifically, we investigate whether bank performance is related to bank-level governance, country-level governance, country-level regulation, and bank balance sheet and profitability characteristics before the crisis. Banks that the market favored in 2006 had especially poor returns during the crisis. Using conventional indicators of good governance, banks with more shareholder-friendly boards performed worse during the crisis. Banks in countries with stricter capital requirement regulations and with more independent supervisors performed better. Though banks in countries with more powerful supervisors had worse stock returns, we provide some evidence that this may be because these supervisors required banks to raise more capital during the crisis and that doing so was costly for shareholders. Large banks with more Tier 1 capital and more deposit financing at the end of 2006 had significantly higher returns during the crisis. After accounting for country fixed effects, banks with more loans and more liquid assets performed better during the month following the Lehman bankruptcy, and so did banks from countries with stronger capital supervision and more restrictions on bank activities.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15180.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Publication status: published as "The credit crisis around the globe: Why did some banks perform better?," with Andrea Beltratti, Journal of Financial Economics, 2012, v105(1), 1-17.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15180

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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
  2. Doidge, Craig & Karolyi, G. Andrew & Stulz, Rene M., 2004. "Why Do Countries Matter So Much for Corporate Governance?," Working Paper Series 2004-16, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  3. Caprio, Gerard & Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2007. "Governance and bank valuation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 584-617, October.
  4. Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2009. "Bank governance, regulation and risk taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 259-275, August.
  5. Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2009. "Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007-2008," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 77-100, Winter.
  6. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Daniel, Naveen D. & Naveen, Lalitha, 2008. "Boards: Does one size fit all," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 329-356, February.
  7. Merton, Robert C., 1977. "An analytic derivation of the cost of deposit insurance and loan guarantees An application of modern option pricing theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-11, June.
  8. Renee Adams & Hamid Mehran, 2003. "Is corporate governance different for bank holding companies?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 123-142.
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Cited by:
  1. Acharya, Viral V. & Schnabl, Philipp & Suarez, Gustavo, 2013. "Securitization without risk transfer," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 515-536.
  2. Gropp, Reint & Köhler, Matthias, 2010. "Bank owners or bank managers: who is keen on risk? Evidence from the financial crisis," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-013, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Raquel de F. Oliveira & Rafael F. Schiozer & Lucas A. B. de C. Barros, 2011. "Too Big to Fail Perception by Depositors: an empirical investigation," Working Papers Series 233, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  4. Thorsten Beck & Samuel Munzele Maimbo & Issa Faye & Thouraya Triki, 2011. "Financing Africa : Through the Crisis and Beyond," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2355, July.
  5. Paul Gregg & Sarah Jewell & Ian Tonks, 2010. "Executive Pay and Performance in the UK," FMG Discussion Papers dp657, Financial Markets Group.
  6. Alistair Milne, 2013. "Distance to Default and the Financial Crisis," Discussion Paper Series 2013_03, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jun 2013.
  7. Nikolov, Pavel, 2010. "Procyclical Effects of the banking System during the financial and economic Crisis 2007-2009: the Case of Europe," MPRA Paper 23945, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger & Stulz, René M., 2011. "Bank CEO incentives and the credit crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 11-26, January.
  9. repec:onb:oenbwp:y:2011:i:22:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Hamid Mehran & Alan Morrison & Joel Shapiro, 2011. "Corporate governance and banks: what have we learned from the financial crisis?," Staff Reports 502, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. Lee, Tung-Hao & Chih, Shu-Hwa, 2013. "Does financial regulation affect the profit efficiency and risk of banks? Evidence from China's commercial banks," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 705-724.
  12. Dietrich, Andreas & Wanzenried, Gabrielle, 2011. "Determinants of bank profitability before and during the crisis: Evidence from Switzerland," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 307-327, July.
  13. Altunbas, Yener & Gambacorta, Leonardo & Marqués-Ibáñez, David, 2010. "Does monetary policy affect bank risk-taking?," Working Paper Series 1166, European Central Bank.
  14. Benjamin Neudorfer & Michael Sigmund & Alexander Trachta, 2011. "Detecting Financial Stability Vulnerabilities in Due Time: Can Simple Indicators Identify a Complex Issue?," Financial Stability Report, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 22, pages 59-71.
  15. Sercu, Piet & Vanpée, Rosanne, 2011. "The Value of Clean Hands: How to Appeal to International Equity Investors," Working Papers 2011/26, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  16. Fahlenbach, Rudiger & Stulz, Rene M., 2009. "Bank CEO Incentives and the Credit Crisis," Working Paper Series 2009-13, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.

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