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The Credit Crisis around the Globe: Why Did Some Banks Perform Better?

  • Beltratti, Andrea

    (Bocconi University)

  • Stulz, Rene M.

    (Ohio State University and ECGI)

Though overall bank performance from July 2007 to December 2008 was the worst since the Great Depression, there is significant variation in the cross-section of stock returns of large banks across the world during that period. We use this variation to evaluate the importance of factors that have been put forth as having contributed to the poor performance of banks during the credit crisis. Our evidence is inconsistent with the argument that poor governance of banks made the crisis worse, but it is supportive of theories that emphasize the fragility of banks financed with short-run capital market funding. Strikingly, differences in banking regulations across countries are generally uncorrelated with the performance of banks during the crisis, except that banks in countries with more restrictions on banking activities performed better, and are uncorrelated with observable risk measures of banks before the crisis. The better-performing banks had less leverage and lower returns in 2006 than the worst-performing banks.

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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2010-5.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2010-5
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