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Corporate Governance and Risk Management at Unprotected Banks: National Banks in the 1890s

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  • Charles W. Calomiris
  • Mark Carlson

Abstract

Managers' incentives may conflict with those of shareholders or creditors, particularly at leveraged, opaque banks. Bankers may abuse their control rights to give themselves excessive salaries, favored access to credit, or to take excessive risks that benefit themselves at the expense of depositors. Banks must design contracting and governance structures that sufficiently resolve agency problems so that they can attract funding from outside shareholders and depositors. We examine banks from the 1890s, a period when there were no distortions from deposit insurance or government interventions to assist banks. We use national banks' Examination Reports to link differences in managerial ownership to different corporate governance policies, risk, and methods of risk management. Formal corporate governance is lower when manager ownership shares are higher. Managerial rent seeking via salaries and insider lending is greater when managerial ownership is higher, and lower when formal governance controls are employed. Banks with higher managerial ownership target lower default risk. Higher managerial ownership and less-formal governance are associated with a greater reliance on cash rather than capital as a means of limiting risk, which we show is consistent both with higher adverse-selection costs of raising outside equity and with greater moral-hazard with respect to risk shifting.

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  • Charles W. Calomiris & Mark Carlson, 2014. "Corporate Governance and Risk Management at Unprotected Banks: National Banks in the 1890s," NBER Working Papers 19806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19806
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles W. Calomiris & Mark Carlson, 2018. "Bank Examiners’ Information and Expertise and Their Role in Monitoring and Disciplining Banks Before and During the Panic of 1893," NBER Working Papers 24460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Rubén Chavarín, 2020. "Risk governance, banks affiliated to business groups, and foreign ownership," Risk Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 1-37, March.
    3. Haelim Anderson & Charles W. Calomiris & Matthew Jaremski & Gary Richardson, 2018. "Liquidity Risk, Bank Networks, and the Value of Joining the Federal Reserve System," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 50(1), pages 173-201, February.
    4. Shahanif Hasan & Aza Azlina Md. Kassim & Mohamad Ali Abdul Hamid, 2020. "The Impact of Audit Quality, Audit Committee and Financial Reporting Quality: Evidence from Malaysia," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 10(5), pages 272-281.
    5. Jaremski, Matthew & Wheelock, David C., 2020. "The Founding of the Federal Reserve, the Great Depression, and the Evolution of the U.S. Interbank Network," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 69-99, March.
    6. Charles W. Calomiris & Matthew Jaremski & David C. Wheelock, 2019. "Interbank Connections, Contagion and Bank Distress in the Great Depression," Working Papers 2019-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    7. Shekhar Aiyar & Charles W. Calomiris & Tomasz Wieladek, 2015. "How to Strengthen the Regulation of Bank Capital: Theory, Evidence, and A Proposal," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 27(1), pages 27-36, March.
    8. Akbarian , Saber & Anvary Rostamy , Ali Asghar & Rezaei , Nader & Abdi , Rasool, 2019. "Corporate Governance and Credit Risk in Iranian Banking Industry," Journal of Money and Economy, Monetary and Banking Research Institute, Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, vol. 14(1), pages 85-100, January.
    9. Calomiris, Charles W. & Carlson, Mark, 2017. "Interbank networks in the National Banking Era: Their purpose and their role in the Panic of 1893," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(3), pages 434-453.
    10. Delis, Manthos D. & Iosifidi, Maria & Kokas, Sotirios & Xefteris, Dimitrios & Ongena, Steven, 2020. "Enforcement actions on banks and the structure of loan syndicates," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    11. Mariem Nsaibi & Ilyes Abidi & Mohamed Tahar Rajhi, 2020. "Corporate Governance and Operational Risk: Empirical Evidence," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 10(4), pages 107-115.
    12. Jeffrey(Jun) Chen & Yun(Yuang) Guan, 2018. "Determinants of Financial Derivative Usage: Empirical Evidence from the Perspective of Governance Structure," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 13, pages 14-28, August.
    13. Chiu-Hui Wu, 2021. "On the Moderating Effects of Country Governance on the Relationships between Corporate Governance and Firm Performance," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 14(3), pages 1-13, March.
    14. Anginer, Deniz & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry & Ma, Kebin, 2018. "Corporate governance of banks and financial stability," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 327-346.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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