On the Scale of Financial Intermediaries
37 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2015
Date Written: December 2016
This paper studies the economic scale of financial institutions. We show that banks and security broker-dealers actively smooth book equity by adjusting payouts. The smoothing of book equity is associated with procyclical book leverage and procyclical net payouts. In contrast, market leverage largely reflects movements in valuation levels as measured by book-to-market ratios. The 2008 crisis caused a structural break, after which the growth rates of the banking and dealer sectors have been subdued relative to pre-crisis levels. We draw conclusions for theories of financial intermediation and for capital regulation..
Keywords: financial intermediation, macro-finance, capital regulations
JEL Classification: E02, E32, G00, G28
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