Leverage and risk in US commercial banking in the light of the current financial crisis
In this paper we study the relationship between leverage and risk in commercial banking market. We employ a panel data set that consists of the biggest US commercial banks and which extends from 2002 to 2010 thus covering both the years before the outbreak of the current financial crisis as well as those followed. We make clear distinctions among different leverage types like on- and off-balance sheet leverage as well as short- and long-term leverage, which have never been made in the relevant literature. Our findings provide evidence that excessive leverage, both explicit and hidden off-the-balance sheet, rendered large banks vulnerable to financial shocks thus contributing to the fragility of the whole banking industry. In a similar vein, a direct link between short- and long-term leverage with risk is reported before the crisis, showing that leverage has been one of the key factors responsible for the serious liquidity shortages that were revealed after 2007 when the crisis erupted. We also demonstrate that banks which concentrate on traditional banking activities typically carry less risk exposure than those that are involved with modern financial instruments. Overall, our results provide a better understanding of the role of leverage in destabilizing the whole system whereas at the same time contribute to the current discussion on the resilience of the banking sector through the strengthening of the existing regulatory framework. "Keywords:financial crisis; risk; leverage; commercial banking" "Classification-JEL: C23; D02; G21; G28"
|Date of creation:||2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Bâtiment K2, 4, rue Albert Borschette, L-1246 Luxembourg-Kirchberg|
Phone: +352 46 66 44 6335
Fax: +352 46 66 44 6811
Web page: http://wwwen.uni.lu/luxembourg_school_of_finance
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gonzalez, Francisco, 2005. "Bank regulation and risk-taking incentives: An international comparison of bank risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1153-1184, May.
- DeYoung, Robert & Roland, Karin P., 2001. "Product Mix and Earnings Volatility at Commercial Banks: Evidence from a Degree of Total Leverage Model," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-84, January.
- Brissimis, Sophocles N. & Delis, Manthos D. & Papanikolaou, Nikolaos I., 2008.
"Exploring the nexus between banking sector reform and performance: Evidence from newly acceded EU countries,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2674-2683, December.
- Sophocles N. Brissimis & Manthos D. Delis & Nikolaos I. Papanikolaou, 2008. "Exploring the Nexus between Banking Sector Reform and Performance: Evidence from Newly Acceded EU Countries," Working Papers 73, Bank of Greece.
- N. Papanikolaou & M. Delis & S. Brissimis, 2008. "Exploring the nexus between banking sector reform and performance: Evidence from newly acceded EU countries," DEOS Working Papers 0917, Athens University of Economics and Business.
- Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
- Allen N. Berger & Christa H. S. Bouwman, 2009. "Bank Liquidity Creation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(9), pages 3779-3837, September.
- Rime, Bertrand & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2003.
"The performance of universal banks: Evidence from Switzerland,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 2121-2150, November.
- Bertrand Rime & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2001. "The Performance of Universal Banks: Evidence from Switzerland," Working Papers 01.03, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
- Etienne Bordeleau & Allan Crawford & Christopher Graham, 2009. "Regulatory Constraints on Bank Leverage: Issues and Lessons from the Canadian Experience," Discussion Papers 09-15, Bank of Canada.
- Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
- Uhde, André & Heimeshoff, Ulrich, 2009.
"Consolidation in banking and financial stability in Europe: Empirical evidence,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1299-1311, July.
- Uhde, André & Heimeshoff, Ulrich, 2009. "Consolidation in banking and financial stability in Europe: empirical evidence," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 02/2009, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
- Xin Huang & Hao Zhou & Haibin Zhu, 2009.
"A Framework for Assessing the Systemic Risk of Major Financial Institutions,"
BIS Working Papers
281, Bank for International Settlements.
- Huang, Xin & Zhou, Hao & Zhu, Haibin, 2009. "A framework for assessing the systemic risk of major financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2036-2049, November.
- Xin Huang & Hao Zhou & Haibin Zhu, 2009. "A framework for assessing the systemic risk of major financial institutions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010.
"Liquidity and leverage,"
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
- Rogers, Kevin & SinkeyJr., Joseph F., 1999. "An analysis of nontraditional activities at U.S. commercial banks," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 25-39, June.
- Titman, Sheridan & Trueman, Brett, 1986. "Information quality and the valuation of new issues," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 159-172, June.
- Allen Berger & Leora Klapper & Rima Turk-Ariss, 2009.
"Bank Competition and Financial Stability,"
Journal of Financial Services Research,
Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 99-118, April.
- Galloway, Tina M. & Lee, Winson B. & Roden, Dianne M., 1997. "Banks' changing incentives and opportunities for risk taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 509-527, April.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crf:wpaper:10-12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martine Zenner)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.