Why Did Bank Stocks Crash during COVID-19?

82 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2021 Last revised: 10 Apr 2021

See all articles by Viral V. Acharya

Viral V. Acharya

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert F. Engle

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); New York University (NYU) - Volatility and Risk Institute

Sascha Steffen

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 7, 2021

Abstract

We study the crash of bank stock prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find evidence consistent with a “credit line drawdown channel”. Stock prices of banks with large ex-ante exposures to undrawn credit lines as well as large ex-post gross drawdowns decline more. The effect is attenuated for banks with higher capital buffers. These banks reduce term loan lending, even after policy measures were implemented. We conclude that bank provision of credit lines appears akin to writing deep out-of-the-money put options on aggregate risk; we show how the resulting contingent leverage and stock return exposure can be incorporated tractably into bank capital stress tests.

Keywords: Credit lines, liquidity risk, bank capital, loan supply, stress tests, pandemic, COVID-19

JEL Classification: G01, G21

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Viral V. and Engle, Robert F. and Steffen, Sascha, Why Did Bank Stocks Crash during COVID-19? (March 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3799590 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3799590

Viral V. Acharya

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/vacharya/public_html/~vacharya.htm

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Robert F. Engle

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

New York University (NYU) - Volatility and Risk Institute ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Sascha Steffen (Contact Author)

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management ( email )

Adickesallee
32-34
Frankfurt, 60322
Germany
16097326929 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sascha-steffen.de

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