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The persistence of bank profits: what the stock market implies

  • Mark E. Levonian
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    This paper examines the speed with which abnormal economic profits vanish in the U.S. banking industry. A model is developed to infer expected speeds of profit adjustment from stock market and financial accounting data, deriving the rate of adjustment that is most consistent with observed cross-sectional relationships between bank stock prices and profitability. The model allows for the possibility that reported accounting income may be a biased and noisy signal of economic profit. Estimation is performed using generalized nonlinear least squares on a pooled series of cross sections. The results indicate that the expected rate of adjustment tends to be significantly greater than zero, although smaller than adjustment speeds found in studies of nonbank firms. The estimated speed of adjustment for negative profits is greater than for positive profits; for banks with high profit rates, the adjustment speed is near zero, implying that supernormal profits are very long-lived.

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    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/review/1994/94-2_3-17.pdf
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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (1994)
    Issue (Month): ()
    Pages: 3-17

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1994:p:3-17:n:2
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    1. Flannery, Mark J & James, Christopher M, 1984. " The Effect of Interest Rate Changes on the Common Stock Returns of Financial Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1141-53, September.
    2. Fisher, Franklin M & McGowan, John J, 1983. "On the Misuse of Accounting Rates of Return to Infer Monopoly Profits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 82-97, March.
    3. Lambson, Val Eugene, 1992. "Competitive Profits in the Long Run," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 125-42, January.
    4. Neumark, David & Sharpe, Steven A, 1992. "Market Structure and the Nature of Price Rigidity: Evidence from the Market for Consumer Deposits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 657-80, May.
    5. Marcus, Alan J & Shaked, Israel, 1984. "The Valuation of FDIC Deposit Insurance Using Option-pricing Estimates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(4), pages 446-60, November.
    6. Geroski, Paul A & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "The Persistence of Profits: A European Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 375-89, June.
    7. Hannan, Timothy H & Berger, Allen N, 1991. "The Rigidity of Prices: Evidence from the Banking Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 938-45, September.
    8. Keeley, Michael C, 1990. "Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1183-1200, December.
    9. Ronn, Ehud I & Verma, Avinash K, 1986. " Pricing Risk-Adjusted Deposit Insurance: An Option-Based Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(4), pages 871-95, September.
    10. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    11. James Tobin & William C. Brainard, 1976. "Asset Markets and the Cost of Capital," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 427, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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