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Banks as Regulated Traders

Author

Listed:
  • Antonio Falato
  • Diana A. Iercosan
  • Filip Zikes

Abstract

This paper uses detailed high-frequency regulatory data to evaluate whether trading increases or decreases systemic risk in the U.S. banking sector. We estimate the sensitivity of weekly bank trading net profits to a variety of aggregate risk factors, which include equities, fixed-income, derivatives, foreign exchange, and commodities. We find that U.S. banks had large trading exposures to equity market risk before the introduction of the Volcker Rule in 2014 and that they curtailed these exposures afterwards. Pre-rule equity risk exposures were large across the board of the main asset classes, including fixed-income. There is also evidence of smaller exposures to credit and currency risk. We corroborate the main finding on equity risk with a quasi-natural experiment that exploits the phased-in introduction of reporting requirements to refine identification, and an optimal changepoint regression that estimates time-varying exposures to address rebalancing. A stress-test calibration indicates that the Volcker Rule was an effective financial-stability regulation, as even a 5% drop in stock market returns would have led to material aggregate trading losses for banks in the pre-Volcker period, as large as about 3% (1.5%) of sector-wide market risk weighted assets (tier 1 capital).

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Falato & Diana A. Iercosan & Filip Zikes, 2019. "Banks as Regulated Traders," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2019-005, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2019-05
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2019.005
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    File URL: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/feds/files/2019005pap.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bo Becker & Victoria Ivashina, 2015. "Reaching for Yield in the Bond Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1863-1902, October.
    2. Itamar Drechsler & Alexi Savov & Philipp Schnabl, 2018. "Banking on Deposits: Maturity Transformation without Interest Rate Risk," NBER Working Papers 24582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrews, Donald W. K. & Lee, Inpyo & Ploberger, Werner, 1996. "Optimal changepoint tests for normal linear regression," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 9-38, January.
    4. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
    5. Sumit Agarwal & David Lucca & Amit Seru & Francesco Trebbi, 2014. "Inconsistent Regulators: Evidence from Banking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 889-938.
    6. English, William B. & Van den Heuvel, Skander J. & Zakrajšek, Egon, 2018. "Interest rate risk and bank equity valuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 80-97.
    7. Di Maggio, Marco & Kacperczyk, Marcin, 2017. "The unintended consequences of the zero lower bound policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 59-80.
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    10. Anderson, Mike & Stulz, Rene M., 2017. "Is Post-crisis Bond Liquidity Lower?," Working Paper Series 2017-09, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    11. Mike Anderson & René M. Stulz, 2017. "Is Post-Crisis Bond Liquidity Lower?," NBER Working Papers 23317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    14. repec:bla:jfinan:v:73:y:2018:i:1:p:51-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Diana A. Iercosan & Ashish Kumbhat & Michael Ng & Jason J. Wu, 2017. "Trading Activities at Systemically Important Banks, Part 1 : Recent Trends in Trading Performance," FEDS Notes 2017-07-10-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank trading ; Regulation ; Risk exposures ; Systemic risk;

    JEL classification:

    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - 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
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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