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Political connections: Evidence from insider trading around TARP

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Abstract

We exploit the 2008-2010 TARP bank bailouts after Lehman’s failure to test for private information leakages from banking regulators to top corporate bank executives using insider trading data and information on political connections. In politically-connected banks, buying during the pre-TARP period is associated with increases in abnormal returns around TARP. For unconnected banks, insider trading and returns are uncorrelated. Results hold when comparing connected to unconnected executives within the same bank and are driven by political connections to financial branches of government. Through a FOIA request we obtained the previously unknown TARP funds requested by each bank. The ratio of requested to received funds strongly correlates with abnormal returns and is also a predictor of buying behavior by connected banks.

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  • Ozlem Akin & Nicholas S. Coleman & Christian Fons-Rosen & José-Luis Peydró, 2016. "Political connections: Evidence from insider trading around TARP," Economics Working Papers 1542, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1542
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & Francisco González-Gómez & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo, 2017. "Weakening political connections by means of regulatory reform: Evidence from contracting out water services in Spain," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 211-235, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political connections; Political economy in banking; Insider trading; TARP; bank bailouts;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • 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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