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Securities Class Actions: A Helping Hand for Bank Regulators in Trouble?

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  • Dalla Pellegrina Lucia

    (Università Bocconi and Milano-Bicocca)

  • Saraceno Margherita

    (Università Bocconi and Milano-Bicocca)

Abstract

By comparing the behavior of those US banks which faced Securities Class Actions (SCAs) in the 2000-2008 period with a control group of non-sued banks, we investigate the regulatory effects of this collective litigation procedure. The paper improves upon previous research by accounting for the endogenous nature of SCAs with respect to bank performance. This issue is addressed using an instrumental variable related to court severity. Two-Stage Least Squares estimates provide evidence that SCAs can stimulate more cautious attitudes towards risk, prompting the accumulation of reserves and recapitalization. We also find they are likely to enhance bank efficiency. However, our results also suggest that SCAs significantly increase dividend payouts while inducing a contraction of bank assets. SCAs are also likely to represent a warning signal of insolvency, as it emerges from the higher probability of being sued in case of high incidence of non-performing loans. We add an extension to the main analysis considering the probability of bank failures as a function of SCA occurrence. Results indicate that the latter is not likely to accelerate the former.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalla Pellegrina Lucia & Saraceno Margherita, 2011. "Securities Class Actions: A Helping Hand for Bank Regulators in Trouble?," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 214-242, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:7:y:2011:i:1:n:10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dr Arup Daripa & Dr. Simone Varotto, 2004. "Ex Ante versus Ex Post Regulation of Bank Capital," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2004-12, Henley Business School, Reading University.
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    5. Gande, Amar & Lewis, Craig M., 2009. "Shareholder-Initiated Class Action Lawsuits: Shareholder Wealth Effects and Industry Spillovers," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(04), pages 823-850, August.
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    8. Michele Fratianni & Francesco Marchionne, 2010. "Banks’ Great Bailout of 2008-2009," Working Papers 2010-03, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
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    10. Kolstad, Charles D & Ulen, Thomas S & Johnson, Gary V, 1990. "Ex Post Liability for Harm vs. Ex Ante Safety Regulation: Substitutes or Complements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 888-901, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lucia Dalla Pellegrina & Margherita Saraceno, 2016. "Can Shareholder Litigation Discipline CEO Bonuses in the Financial Sector? The Role of Securities Class Actions," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 45(1), pages 3-36, February.

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