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Privatized Returns and Socialized Risks: CEO Incentives, Securitization Accounting and the Financial Crisis

  • Fabrizi, M.
  • Parbonetti, A.
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    The paper investigates the role of CEO’s equity and risk incentives in boosting securitization in the financial industry and in motivating executives to reduce the perceived risk while betting on it. Using a sample of US financial institutions over the period 2003-2009 we document that CEOs with high equity incentives have systematically engaged in securitization transactions to a larger extent than CEOs with low incentives. We also show that CEOs with high equity and risk-related incentives have engaged in the securitization of risky loans and have used securitization for transferring risks to outside investors. Finally, we show that executives incentivized on risk have provided outside investors with low quality disclosure about losses recorded on securitized loans thus contributing to increase the opacity of securitization transactions undertaken. Overall, we interpret our results as evidence that CEOs have foreseen in securitizations under US GAAP an opportunity for hiding risks while bearing them and generating profits and cash flows because of the risks. Our results are robust to several model specifications as well as to endogeneity concerns.

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    File URL: http://city.eprints.org/2120/1/CITYPERC-WPS-2013_08.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of International Politics, City University London in its series CITYPERC Working Paper Series with number 2013-08.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:dip:dpaper:2013-08
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of International Politics, Social Sciences Building, City University London, Whiskin Street, London, EC1R 0JD, United Kingdom
    Phone: +44 (0)20 7040 8500
    Web page: http://www.city.ac.uk/arts-social-sciences/international-politics/
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    1. Adam B. Ashcraft & Til Schuermann, 2008. "Understanding the securitization of subprime mortgage credit," Staff Reports 318, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Fahlenbach, Rudiger & Stulz, Rene M., 2009. "Bank CEO Incentives and the Credit Crisis," Working Paper Series 2009-13, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    3. Yermack, David, 1995. "Do corporations award CEO stock options effectively?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 237-269.
    4. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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    6. Smith, Clifford W. & Stulz, René M., 1985. "The Determinants of Firms' Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 391-405, December.
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    8. John E. Core & Wayne R. Guay & David F. Larcker, 2003. "Executive equity compensation and incentives: a survey," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 27-50.
    9. Larcker, David F. & Rusticus, Tjomme O., 2010. "On the use of instrumental variables in accounting research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 186-205, April.
    10. John Core, 2002. "Estimating the Value of Employee Stock Option Portfolios and Their Sensitivities to Price and Volatility," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 613-630, 06.
    11. 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.
    12. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Daniel, Naveen D. & Naveen, Lalitha, 2006. "Managerial incentives and risk-taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 431-468, February.
    13. Daniel A. Rogers, 2005. "Managerial Risk-Taking Incentives and Executive Stock Option Repricing: A Study of US Casino Executives," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 34(1), Spring.
    14. Dechow, Patricia M. & Myers, Linda A. & Shakespeare, Catherine, 2010. "Fair value accounting and gains from asset securitizations: A convenient earnings management tool with compensation side-benefits," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 2-25, February.
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