Déjà Vu All Over Again: The Causes of U.S. Commercial Bank Failures This Time Around
44 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 14 Jan 2013
Date Written: May 22, 2011
In this study, we analyze why commercial banks failed during the recent financial crisis. We find that traditional proxies for the CAMELS components, as well as measures of commercial real estate investments, do an excellent job in explaining the failures of banks that were closed during 2009, just as they did in the previous banking crisis of 1985 – 1992. Surprisingly, we do not find that residential mortgage-backed securities played a significant role in determining which banks failed and which banks survived. Our results offer support for the CAMELS approach to judging the safety and soundness of commercial banks, but call into serious question the current system of regulatory risk weights and concentration limits on commercial real estate loans.
Keywords: Bank, Bank Failure, Commercial Real Estate, CAMELS, FDIC, Financial Crisis, Mortgage-Backed Security, Risk-Based Capital, Risk-Weighted Assets
JEL Classification: G17, G21, G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation