IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Leverage and risk in US commercial banking in the light of the current financial crisis

  • Nikolaos Papanikolaou

    ()

    (Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg)

  • Christian Wolff

    ()

    (Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg)

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"

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.lsf.lu/eng/content/download/2206/11007/file/10-12.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg in its series LSF Research Working Paper Series with number 10-12.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crf:wpaper:10-12
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
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. 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.).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010. "Liquidity and leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.