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Why did bank stocks crash during COVID-19?

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  • Acharya, Viral V.
  • Engle III, Robert F
  • Steffen, Sascha

Abstract

We study the crash of bank stock prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find evidence consistent with a "credit line drawdown channel". Stock prices of banks with large ex-ante exposures to undrawn credit lines as well as large ex-post gross drawdowns decline more. The effect is attenuated for banks with higher capital buffers. These banks reduce term loan lending, even after policy measures were implemented. We conclude that bank provision of credit lines appears akin to writing deep out-of-the-money put options on aggregate risk; we show how the resulting contingent leverage and stock return exposure can be incorporated tractably into bank capital stress tests.

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  • Acharya, Viral V. & Engle III, Robert F & Steffen, Sascha, 2021. "Why did bank stocks crash during COVID-19?," CEPR Discussion Papers 15901, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15901
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    Cited by:

    1. Judit Temesvary & Andrew Wei, 2021. "Domestic Lending and the Pandemic: How Does Banks' Exposure to Covid-19 Abroad Affect Their Lending in the United States?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-056r1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 17 Nov 2021.
    2. Berger, Allen N. & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli, 2021. "Banking research in the time of COVID-19," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).
    3. Simoens, Mathieu & Vander Vennet, Rudi, 2022. "Does diversification protect European banks’ market valuations in a pandemic?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).
    4. Martin Indergand & Eric Jondeau & Andreas Fuster, 2022. "Measuring and Stress-Testing Market-Implied Bank Capital," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 22-11, Swiss Finance Institute.
    5. Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Pedraza, Alvaro & Ruiz-Ortega, Claudia, 2021. "Banking sector performance during the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    6. Acharya, Viral V. & Engle III, Robert F & Steffen, Sascha, 2021. "Why did bank stocks crash during COVID-19?," CEPR Discussion Papers 15901, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Bo Becker & Efraim Benmelech, 2021. "The Resilience of the U.S. Corporate Bond Market During Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 28868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Nina Boyarchenko & Caren Cox & Richard K. Crump & Andrew Danzig & Anna Kovner & Or Shachar & Patrick Steiner, 2022. "The Primary and Secondary Corporate Credit Facilities," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 28(1), July.
    9. John, Kose & Li, Jingrui, 2021. "COVID-19, volatility dynamics, and sentiment trading," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    10. Nina Boyarchenko & Caren Cox & Richard K. Crump & Andrew Danzig & Anna Kovner & Or Shachar & Patrick Steiner, 2021. "COVID Response: The Primary and Secondary Corporate Credit Facilities," Staff Reports 986, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    11. Mary C. Daly, 2021. "The Last Resort in a Changing Landscape," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, vol. 2021(12), pages 01-07, May.
    12. Li, Xiang, 2022. "The role of state-owned banks in crises: Evidence from German banks during COVID-19," IWH Discussion Papers 6/2022, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank capital; COVID-19; Credit lines; liquidity risk; loan supply; Pandemic; stress tests;
    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

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