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Three decades of financial sector risk

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  • Joel F. Houston
  • Kevin J. Stiroh

Abstract

This paper examines the evolution of risk in the U.S. financial sector using firm-level equity market data from 1975 to 2005. Over this period, financial sector volatility has steadily increased, reaching extraordinary levels from 1998 to 2002. Much of this recent turbulence can be attributed to a series of major financial shocks, and we find evidence of an upward trend in volatility only for the common component that affects the entire financial sector. While idiosyncratic volatility remains dominant, a combination of common shocks, deregulation, and diversification has reduced its relative importance since the early 1990s. Within the financial sector, commercial banks show the largest rise in volatility, which also reflects industry shocks and not the idiosyncratic component. Despite these changes, we find that the links between the financial sector and economic activity have declined in recent years. These results have implications for investors, bank regulators, and other policymakers concerned with the origins of financial sector risk and with the links between the financial markets and real activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel F. Houston & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2006. "Three decades of financial sector risk," Staff Reports 248, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:248
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Calmès, Christian & Liu, Ying, 2009. "Financial structure change and banking income: A Canada-U.S. comparison," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 128-139, February.
    2. Purnanandam, Amiyatosh, 2007. "Interest rate derivatives at commercial banks: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1769-1808, September.
    3. Brown, Kareen & Jha, Ranjini & Pacharn, Parunchana, 2015. "Ex ante CEO severance pay and risk-taking in the financial services sector," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 111-126.
    4. Til Schuermann & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2006. "Visible and hidden risk factors for banks," Staff Reports 252, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Dick Wensveen, 2008. "Notes And Communications," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 307-338, September.
    6. Kevin Stiroh, 2006. "New Evidence on the Determinants of Bank Risk," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 237-263, December.
    7. Myftari, Entela & Rossi, Sergio, 2010. "Prix des actifs et politique monétaire : enjeux et perspectives après la crise financière de 2007-2009," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(3), pages 355-383, septembre.
    8. Gianni De Nicolo & Alexander F. Tieman, 2006. "Economic Integration and Financial Stability; A European Perspective," IMF Working Papers 06/296, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Haq, Mamiza & Heaney, Richard, 2009. "European bank equity risk: 1995-2006," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 274-288, April.
    10. Nicolas Pellerin, 2008. "L'effet des activités hors bilan sur la rentabilité et la volatilité des revenus des banques canadiennes," RePAd Working Paper Series UQO-DSA-wp032008, Département des sciences administratives, UQO.
    11. Calmès, Christian & Théoret, Raymond, 2010. "The impact of off-balance-sheet activities on banks returns: An application of the ARCH-M to Canadian data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1719-1728, July.
    12. Christian Calmès & Raymond Théoret, 2009. "The Impact of Banking Deregulation on Canadian Banks Returns," RePAd Working Paper Series UQO-DSA-wp022009, Département des sciences administratives, UQO.
    13. Christian Calmès & Raymond Théoret, 2008. "Banking Deregulation and Financial Stability : is it Time to re-regulate in Canada ?," RePAd Working Paper Series UQO-DSA-wp042008, Département des sciences administratives, UQO.

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    Keywords

    Risk ; Financial markets ; Banks and banking;

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