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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 Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Sorensen, Bent & Yesiltas, Sevcan, 2012. "Leverage across firms, banks, and countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 284-298.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17354

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Cited by:
  1. Queraltó, Albert, 2013. "A Model of Slow Recoveries from Financial Crises," International Finance Discussion Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 1097, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Riccetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2013. "Financialisation and Crisis in an Agent Based Macroeconomomic Model," MPRA Paper 51074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Ricetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and financial leverage in an agent based macroeconomic model," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 7(42), pages 1-44.
  4. 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.
  5. Riccetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Mauro, Gallegati, 2013. "Financial Regulation in an Agent Based Macroeconomic Model," MPRA Paper 51013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. 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.
  7. Russo, Alberto, 2013. "Financial Fragility and Macroeconomic Instability in a Heterogeneous Interacting Agents Framework," MPRA Paper 46578, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Antoine Godin & Stephen Kinsella, 2012. "Leverage, liquidity and crisis: A simulation study," ASSRU Discussion Papers, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit 1205, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit.
  9. Teixeira, João C.A. & Silva, Francisco J.F. & Fernandes, Ana V. & Alves, Ana C.G., 2014. "Banks’ capital, regulation and the financial crisis," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 33-58.
  10. Luca RICCETTI & Alberto RUSSO & Mauro GALLEGATI, 2011. "Leveraged Network-Based Financial Accelerator," Working Papers 371, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  11. Asaf Bernstein & Eric Hughson & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2014. "Counterparty Risk and the Establishment of the New York Stock Exchange Clearinghouse," NBER Working Papers 20459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hsu, Sara, 2012. "The US financial system, the great recession, and the “speculative spread”," MPRA Paper 38478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. A. Baglioni & E. Beccalli & A. Boitani & A. Monticini, 2013. "Is the leverage of European banks procyclical?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 1251-1266, December.

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