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Dividends and Bank Capital in the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009

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Listed:
  • Acharya, Viral V
  • Gujral, Irvind
  • Kulkarni, Nirupama
  • Shin, Hyun Song

Abstract

The headline numbers appear to show that even as banks and financial intermediaries suffered large credit losses in the financial crisis of 2007-09, they raised substantial amounts of new capital, both from private investors and through government-funded capital injections. However, on closer inspection the composition of bank capital shifted radically from one based on common equity to that based on debt-like hybrid claims such as preferred equity and subordinated debt. The erosion of common equity was exacerbated by large scale payments of dividends, in spite of widely anticipated credit losses. Dividend payments represent a transfer from creditors (and potentially taxpayers) to equity holders in violation of the priority of debt over equity. The dwindling pool of common equity in the banking system may have been one reason for the continued reluctance by banks to lend over this period. We draw conclusions on how capital regulation may be reformed in light of our findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Acharya, Viral V & Gujral, Irvind & Kulkarni, Nirupama & Shin, Hyun Song, 2012. "Dividends and Bank Capital in the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009," CEPR Discussion Papers 8801, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8801
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010. "Liquidity and leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Riccetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2016. "Financialisation and crisis in an agent based macroeconomic model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 162-172.
    2. Ashraf, Badar Nadeem & Bibi, Bushra & Zheng, Changjun, 2016. "How to regulate bank dividends? Is capital regulation an answer?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 281-293.
    3. repec:eee:mulfin:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:61-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Enders, Zeno & Peter, Alexandra, 2015. "Global Banking, Trade, and the International Transmission of the Great Recession," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113022, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Adrian Van Rixtel & Luna Romo González & Jing Yang, 2015. "The determinants of long-term debt issuance by European banks: evidence of two crises," BIS Working Papers 513, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. Leonardo Gambacorta & Sudipto Karmakar, 2016. "Leverage and risk weighted capital requirements," BIS Working Papers 586, Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Floyd, Eric & Li, Nan & Skinner, Douglas J., 2015. "Payout policy through the financial crisis: The growth of repurchases and the resilience of dividends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 299-316.
    8. Gersbach, Hans & Rochet, Jean-Charles & Scheffel, Martin, 2018. "Financial Intermediation, Capital Accumulation and Crisis Recovery," TSE Working Papers 18-885, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    9. Michal Kowalik, 2011. "Countercyclical capital regulation: should bank regulators use rules or discretion?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II.
    10. Thomas Siemsen & Sigurd Mølster Galaasen & Pablo D'Erasmo & Alfonso Irarrazabal & Dean Corbae, 2016. "Stress Testing in a Structural Model of Bank Behavior," 2016 Meeting Papers 1315, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Haq, Mamiza & Heaney, Richard, 2012. "Factors determining European bank risk," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 696-718.
    12. Gersbach, Hans & Rochet, Jean-Charles & Scheffel, Martin, 2015. "Financial Intermediation, Capital Accumulation, and Recovery," CEPR Discussion Papers 10964, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Tommaso Trani, 2012. "Countercyclical Capital Regulation and Bank Ownership Structure," IHEID Working Papers 14-2012, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    14. Federico Lubello & Abdelaziz Rouabah, 2017. "Capturing macroprudential regulation effectiveness: A DSGE approach with shadow intermediaries," BCL working papers 114, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    15. Gersbach, Hans & Rochet, Jean-Charles & Scheffel, Martin, 2018. "Financial Intermediation, Capital Accumulation and Crisis Recovery," IDEI Working Papers 881, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    16. Laetitia Lepetit & Céline Meslier-Crouzille & Leo Indra Wardhana, 2015. "Do Asymmetric Information and Ownership Structure Matter for Dividend Payout Decisions? Evidence from European Banks," Working Papers hal-01186722, HAL.
    17. Cziraki, Peter & Laux, Christian & Lóránth, Gyöngyi, 2016. "Understanding Bank Payouts during the Crisis of 2007-2009," CEPR Discussion Papers 11453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Haq, Mamiza & Faff, Robert & Seth, Rama & Mohanty, Sunil, 2014. "Disciplinary tools and bank risk exposure," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 37-64.
    19. repec:eee:eecrev:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:125-141 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Posch, Peter N. & Löffler, Gunter & Kranz, Sebastian, 2015. "Predatory Short Sales and Bailouts," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 114734, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. Anat R. Admati & Peter M. DeMarzo & Martin F. Hellwig & Paul Pfleiderer, 2013. "Fallacies, Irrelevant Facts, and Myths in the Discussion of Capital Regulation: Why Bank Equity is Not Socially Expensive," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_23, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asset substitution; crisis; regulatory capital; risk-shifting;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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