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Can we explain banks' capital structures?

  • Mitchell Berlin
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    Bank capital has been much in the news during the recent financial crisis. In 2008 and 2009 the U.S. government injected $235 billion of capital into the banking system as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). In 2009, bank regulators carried out a full-scale evaluation of the capital adequacy of 19 large banking organizations, ultimately requiring 10 of these organizations to increase their capital levels. While most commentators agree that regulatory capital levels are too low for large organizations — especially large organizations that create systemic risks — financial economists have only recently been paying attention to what factors actually govern banks’ capital choices. In “Can We Explain Banks’ Capital Structures?,” Mitchell Berlin discusses how understanding bank capital decisions over the 20-year period prior to the recent crisis can provide insights that may help us to evaluate reform proposals.

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    File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/business-review/2011/q2/brq211_can-we-explain-banks-capital-structures.pdf
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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its journal Business Review.

    Volume (Year): (2011)
    Issue (Month): Q2 ()
    Pages: 1-11

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:2011:i:q2:p:1-11
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    1. Berger, Allen N, 1995. "The Relationship between Capital and Earnings in Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 432-56, May.
    2. Eugene F. Fama, 2002. "Testing Trade-Off and Pecking Order Predictions About Dividends and Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, March.
    3. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, 08.
    4. Allen Berger & Robert DeYoung & Mark Flannery & David Lee & Özde Öztekin, 2008. "How Do Large Banking Organizations Manage Their Capital Ratios?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 123-149, December.
    5. Jeffrey A. Wurgler & Malcolm P. Baker, 2001. "Market Timing and Capital Structure," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm181, Yale School of Management.
    6. Samu Peura & Jussi Keppo, 2006. "Optimal Bank Capital with Costly Recapitalization," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 2163-2202, July.
    7. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
    8. Gropp, Reint & Heider, Florian, 2009. "The determinants of bank capital structure," Working Paper Series 1096, European Central Bank.
    9. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    10. Berger, Allen N. & Herring, Richard J. & Szego, Giorgio P., 1995. "The role of capital in financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 393-430, June.
    11. Xin Chang & Sudipto Dasgupta, 2009. "Target Behavior and Financing: How Conclusive Is the Evidence?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1767-1796, 08.
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