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Throwing Good Money After Bad? Board Connections and Conflicts in Bank Lending

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  • Randall S. Kroszner
  • Philip E. Strahan
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the frequency of connections between banks and non-financial firms through board linkages and whether those connections affect lending and borrowing behavior. Although a board linkages may reduce the costs of information flows between the lender and borrower, a board linkage may generate pressure for special treatment of a borrower not normally justifiable on economic grounds. To address this issue, we first document that banks are heavily involved in the corporate governance network through frequent board linkages. Banks tend to have larger boards with a higher proportion of outside directors than non- financial firms, and bank officer-directors tend to have more external board directorships than executives of non- financial firms. We then show that low- information cost firms -- large firms with a high proportion of tangible assets and relatively stable stock returns -- are most likely to have board connections to banks. These same low- information cost firms are also more likely to borrow from their connected bank, and when they do so the terms of the loan appear similar to loans to unconnected firms. In contrast to studies of Mexico, Russia and Asia where connections have been misused, our results suggest that avoidance of potential conflicts of interest explains both the allocation and behavior of bankers in the U.S. corporate governance system.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8694.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8694

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    1. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60, February.
    2. Kroszner, Randall S. & Rajan, Raghuram G., 1997. "Organization structure and credibility: Evidence from commercial bank securities activities before the Glass-Steagall Act," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 475-516, August.
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    4. Miguel Cantillo and Julian Wright., 2000. "How Do Firms Choose Their Lenders? An Empirical Investigation," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-256-Rev, University of California at Berkeley.
    5. Anil K. Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein & David W. Wilcox, 1991. "Monetary policy and credit conditions: evidence from the composition of external finance," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 154, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
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    8. Kaplan, Steven N. & Minton, Bernadette A., 1994. "Appointments of outsiders to Japanese boards: Determinants and implications for managers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 225-258, October.
    9. Gorton, Gary & Kahn, James, 2000. "The Design of Bank Loan Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(2), pages 331-64.
    10. Baysinger, Barry D & Butler, Henry N, 1985. "Corporate Governance and the Board of Directors: Performance Effects of Changes in Board Composition," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 101-24, Spring.
    11. Anup Agrawal & Charles R. Knoeber, . "Firm Performance and Mechanisms to Control Agency Problems between Managers and Shareholders (Revision of 29-94)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 8-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    12. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1993. "The Choice Between Public and Private Debt: An Analysis of Post-Deregulation Corporate Financing in Japan," NBER Working Papers 4421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Randall S. Kroszner & Philip E. Strahan, 2013. "Regulation and Deregulation of the U.S. Banking Industry: Causes, Consequences and Implications for the Future," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Regulation and Its Reform: What Have We Learned?, pages 485-543 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bill B. Francis & Iftekhar Hasan & Mingming Zhou, 2013. "The effects of stock splits on the bid-ask spread of syndicated loans," International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(1/2), pages 159-187.
    3. Giacomo Cau & Massimiliano Stacchini, 2010. "The certification role of bank directors on;corporate boards," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 46, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    4. Gérard Charreaux, 2003. "Le point sur... les réseaux d'administrateurs et de dirigeants," Working Papers CREGO 1030801, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.

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