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Subprime Crisis and Board (In-)Competence: Private vs. Public Banks in Germany

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  • Harald Hau
  • Marcel Thum

Abstract

We examine evidence for a systematic underperformance of Germany’s state-owned banks in the current financial crisis and study if the bank losses can be traced to the quality of bank governance. For this purpose, we examine the biographical background of 593 supervisory board members in the 29 largest banks and find a pronounced difference in the finance and management experience of board representatives across private and state-owned banks. Measures of “boardroom competence” are then related directly to the magnitude of bank losses in the recent financial crisis. Our data confirms that supervisory board (in-)competence in finance is related to losses in the financial crisis. Improved bank governance is therefore a suitable policy objective to reduce bank fragility.

Suggested Citation

  • Harald Hau & Marcel Thum, 2009. "Subprime Crisis and Board (In-)Competence: Private vs. Public Banks in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 2640, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2640
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Shkendije Himaj, 2014. "Corporate Governance in Banks and its Impact on Risk and Performance: Review of Literature on the Selected Governance Mechanisms," Journal of Central Banking Theory and Practice, Central bank of Montenegro, vol. 3(3), pages 53-85.
    2. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
    3. Rubén Chavarín, 2020. "Risk governance, banks affiliated to business groups, and foreign ownership," Risk Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 1-37, March.
    4. Jochimsen, Beate & Thomasius, Sebastian, 2014. "The perfect finance minister: Whom to appoint as finance minister to balance the budget," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 390-408.
    5. Falk Bräuning & Falko Fecht, 2017. "Relationship Lending in the Interbank Market and the Price of Liquidity," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(1), pages 33-75.
    6. Eichacker, Nina, 2020. "German Public Banks, Financial Competition, and Crisis: Institutional Change in German Banking and Financial Vulnerability Before the Global Financial Crisis," SocArXiv jkp5u, Center for Open Science.
    7. Giovanni Ferri & Panu Kalmi & Eeva Kerola, 2014. "Organizational Structure and Exposure to Crisis among European Banks: Evidence from Rating Changes," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 3(1), pages 35-55, June.
    8. Efing, Matthias & Hau, Harald & Kampkötter, Patrick & Steinbrecher, Johannes, 2015. "Incentive pay and bank risk-taking: Evidence from Austrian, German, and Swiss banks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(S1), pages 123-140.
    9. Berger, Allen N. & Kick, Thomas & Schaeck, Klaus, 2014. "Executive board composition and bank risk taking," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 48-65.
    10. Luis Garicano & Luis Rayo, 2016. "Why Organizations Fail: Models and Cases," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 137-192, March.
    11. Maria Semenova & Polina Savchenko, 2015. "Sitting on the fence: does having a 'dual-director' add to bank profitability?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(8), pages 654-657, May.
    12. Odile Paulus & Christophe Lejeune, 2013. "What do board members in art organizations do? A grounded theory approach," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(4), pages 963-988, November.
    13. Xavier Vives, 2011. "Competition and Stability in Banking," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia (ed.),Monetary Policy under Financial Turbulence, edition 1, volume 16, chapter 12, pages 455-502, Central Bank of Chile.
    14. Martín-Oliver, Alfredo & Ruano, Sonia & Salas-Fumás, Vicente, 2017. "The fall of Spanish cajas: Lessons of ownership and governance for banks," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 244-260.
    15. Haucap, Justus & Coenen, Michael, 2010. "Industriepolitische Konsequenzen der Wirtschaftskrise," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 03, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    16. Carlos Arteta & Mark Carey & Ricardo Correa & Jason Kotter, 2020. "Revenge of the Steamroller: ABCP as a Window on Risk Choices," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 24(3), pages 497-528.
    17. Emma García-Meca, 2016. "Political connections, gender diversity and compensation policy," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 553-576, July.
    18. Marco Pagano & ESRB Advisory Scientific Committee, 2014. "Is Europe Overbanked?," mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings 132, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    19. Matthias Efing & Harald Hau & Patrick Kampkötter & Johannes Steinbrecher, 2015. "Die Dosis macht das Gift – eine Analyse zum Einfluss von Bonuszahlungen auf die Profitabilität und das Risiko von Banken," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(03), pages 23-31, February.
    20. Gropp, Reint & Guettler, Andre & Saadi, Vahid, 2020. "Public bank guarantees and allocative efficiency," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 53-69.
    21. Kathrin Johansen & Saskia Laser & Doris Neuberger & Ettore Andreani, 2017. "Inside or outside control of banks? Evidence from the composition of supervisory boards," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 31-58, February.
    22. Aebi, Vincent & Sabato, Gabriele & Schmid, Markus, 2012. "Risk management, corporate governance, and bank performance in the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3213-3226.
    23. Berger, Allen N. & Kick, Thomas & Koetter, Michael & Schaeck, Klaus, 2013. "Does it pay to have friends? Social ties and executive appointments in banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2087-2105.
    24. V.M. Morais Pereira & J.A. Candeias Bonito Filipe, 2018. "Quality of Board Members’ Training and Bank Financial Performance: Evidence from Portugal," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(3), pages 47-79.
    25. Daniel Ferreira & Tom Kirchmaier & Daniel Metzger, 2011. "Boards of Banks," FMG Discussion Papers dp664, Financial Markets Group.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    governance; supervisory boards; banking; financial crisis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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