A model of leverage based on risk sharing
This paper offers a new approach, based on risk sharing, to endogenize the leverage of financial intermediaries. It endogenizes debt as the optimal contract for external financing, thereby capturing two features of leverage: debt serves to boost the return on equity, and equity provides “safety net” for debt. The paper derives a novel prediction that when the asset-side risk rises, the leverage ratio is reduced, but the profit margin of leveraging is actually widened.
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