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Leverage Across Firms, Banks, and Countries

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  • Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan
  • Bent Sorensen
  • Sevcan Yesiltas

Abstract

We present new stylized facts on bank and firm leverage for 2000-2009 using extensive internationally comparable micro level data from several countries. The main result is that there was very little buildup in leverage for the average non-financial firm and commercial bank before the crisis, but the picture was quite different for large commercial banks in the United States and for investment banks worldwide. We document the following patterns: a) there was an increase in leverage ratios of investment banks and financial firms during the early 2000s; b) there was no visible increase for commercial banks and non-financial firms; c) off balance-sheet items constitute a big fraction of assets, especially for large commercial banks in the United States; d) the leverage ratio is procyclical for investment banks and for large commercial banks in the United States; e) banks in emerging markets with tighter bank regulation and stronger investor protection experienced significantly less deleveraging during the crisis. These results show that excessive risk taking before the crisis was not easily detectable because the risk involved the quality rather than the amount of assets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17354.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Bent Sorensen, Sevcan Yesiltas. "Leverage Across Firms, Banks and Countries," in Charles Engel, Kristin Forbes, and Jeffrey Frankel, organizers, "Global Financial Crisis" Elsevier, Journal of International Economics 88(2) (2012)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17354

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hsu, Sara, 2012. "The US financial system, the great recession, and the “speculative spread”," MPRA Paper 38478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Riccetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Mauro, Gallegati, 2013. "Financial Regulation in an Agent Based Macroeconomic Model," MPRA Paper 51013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Adrian Van Rixtel & Gabriele Gasperini, 2013. "Financial crises and bank funding: recent experience in the euro area," BIS Working Papers 406, Bank for International Settlements.
  4. Riccetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2013. "Leveraged network-based financial accelerator," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1626-1640.
  5. Antoine Godin & Stephen Kinsella, 2012. "Leverage, liquidity and crisis: A simulation study," ASSRU Discussion Papers 1205, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit.
  6. Riccetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2013. "Financialisation and Crisis in an Agent Based Macroeconomomic Model," MPRA Paper 51074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Lendvai, Julia & Raciborski, Rafal & Vogel, Lukas, 2013. "Macroeconomic effects of an equity transaction tax in a general-equilibrium model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 466-482.
  8. Russo, Alberto, 2013. "Financial Fragility and Macroeconomic Instability in a Heterogeneous Interacting Agents Framework," MPRA Paper 46578, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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