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Bank Leverage Cyles

Author

Listed:
  • Carlos Thomas

    (Banco de España)

  • Galo Nuno

    (European Central Bank)

Abstract

We document the cyclical dynamics in the balance sheets of US leveraged financial intermediaries in the post-war period. Leverage has contributed more than equity to fluctuations in total assets. All three variables are several times more volatile than GDP. Leverage has been positively correlated with assets and (to a lesser extent) GDP, and negatively correlated with equity. These findings are robust across financial subsectors. We then build a general equilibrium model with banks subject to endogenous leverage constraints, and assess its ability to replicate the facts. In the model, banks borrow in the form of collateralized risky debt. The presence of moral hazard creates a link between the volatility in bank asset returns and bank leverage. We find that, while standard TFP shocks fail to replicate the volatility and cyclicality of leverage, volatility shocks are relatively successful in doing so.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Thomas & Galo Nuno, 2013. "Bank Leverage Cyles," 2013 Meeting Papers 220, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:220
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Caiani, Alessandro & Godin, Antoine & Caverzasi, Eugenio & Gallegati, Mauro & Kinsella, Stephen & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2016. "Agent based-stock flow consistent macroeconomics: Towards a benchmark model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 375-408.
    2. Seth B. Carpenter & Selva Demiralp & Jens Eisenschmidt, 2013. "The effectiveness of the non-standard policy measures during the financial crises: the experiences of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Alessio Moro & Galo Nuño & Pedro Tedde, 2015. "A twin crisis with multiple banks of issue. Spain in the 1860s," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 171-194.
    4. Nuno Coimbra & Hélène Rey, 2017. "Financial Cycles with Heterogeneous Intermediaries," NBER Working Papers 23245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jaremski, Matthew & Wheelock, David C., 2017. "Banking on the Boom, Tripped by the Bust: Banks and the World War I Agricultural Price Shock," Working Papers 2017-36, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    6. Clancy, Daragh & Merola, Rossana, 2014. "The effect of macroprudential policy on endogenous credit cycles," Research Technical Papers 15/RT/14, Central Bank of Ireland.
    7. Sekkel, Rodrigo M., 2015. "Balance sheets of financial intermediaries: Do they forecast economic activity?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 263-275.
    8. Kiley, Michael T. & Sim, Jae W., 2014. "Bank capital and the macroeconomy: Policy considerations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 175-198.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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