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Tracking Variation in Systemic Risk at US Banks During 1974-2013

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  • Armen Hovakimian
  • Edward J. Kane
  • Luc Laeven

Abstract

This paper proposes a theoretically based and easy-to-implement way to measure the systemic risk of financial institutions using publicly available accounting and stock market data. The measure models the credit enhancement taxpayers provide to individual banks in the Merton tradition (1974) as a combination put option for the deep tail of bank losses and a knock-in stop-loss call on bank assets. This model expresses the value of taxpayer loss exposure from a string of defaults as the value of this combination option written on the portfolio of industry assets. The exercise price of the call is the face value of the debt of the entire sector. We conceive of an individual bank’s systemic risk as its contribution to the value of this sector-wide option on the financial safety net. To the extent that authorities are slow to see bank losses or reluctant to exercise the call, the government itself becomes a secondary source of systemic risk. We apply our model to quarterly data over the period 1974-2013. The model indicates that systemic risk reached unprecedented highs during the financial crisis years 2008-2009, and that bank size, leverage, and asset risk are key drivers of systemic risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Armen Hovakimian & Edward J. Kane & Luc Laeven, 2012. "Tracking Variation in Systemic Risk at US Banks During 1974-2013," NBER Working Papers 18043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18043 Note: CF
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    Cited by:

    1. Mensah, Jones Odei & Premaratne, Gamini, 2017. "Systemic interconnectedness among Asian Banks," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 17-33.
    2. Bluhm, Marcel & Krahnen, Jan Pieter, 2014. "Systemic risk in an interconnected banking system with endogenous asset markets," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 75-94.
    3. Simone Varotto & Lei Zhao, 2014. "Systemic Risk and Bank Size," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2014-17, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    4. Charles W. Calomiris & Urooj Khan, 2015. "An Assessment of TARP Assistance to Financial Institutions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 53-80, Spring.
    5. Anginer, Deniz & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Zhu, Min, 2014. "How does deposit insurance affect bank risk? Evidence from the recent crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 312-321.
    6. Irresberger, Felix & Bierth, Christopher & Weiß, Gregor N.F., 2017. "Size is everything: Explaining SIFI designations," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 7-19.
    7. Edward J. Kane, 2016. "Ethics vs. Ethos in US and UK Megabanking," Working Papers Series 43, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    8. repec:kap:jfsres:v:53:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10693-016-0261-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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