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Managerial myopia and the mortgage meltdown

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  • Kolasinski, Adam C.
  • Yang, Nan

Abstract

Prominent policy makers assert that managerial short-termism was at the root of the subprime crisis of 2007–2009. Prior scholarly research, however, largely rejects this assertion. Using a more comprehensive measure of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) incentives for short-termism, we uncover evidence that short-termism indeed played a role. Firms whose CEOs were contractually allowed to sell or exercise more of their stock and options holdings sooner had more subprime exposure, a higher probability of financial distress, and lower risk-adjusted stock returns during the crisis, as well as higher fines and settlements for subprime-related fraud.

Suggested Citation

  • Kolasinski, Adam C. & Yang, Nan, 2018. "Managerial myopia and the mortgage meltdown," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(3), pages 466-485.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:128:y:2018:i:3:p:466-485
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2017.03.010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial crisis; Subprime mortgages; Financial fraud; CEO incentives; CEO pay;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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