Private Equity and Financial Stability: Evidence from Failed Bank Resolution in the Crisis
67 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2021 Last revised: 29 Sep 2022
Date Written: April 1, 2021
We investigate the role of private equity (PE) in the resolution of failed banks after the 2008 financial crisis. Using proprietary failed bank acquisition data from the FDIC combined with data on PE investors, we find that PE investors made substantial investments in underperforming and riskier failed banks. Further, these acquisitions tended to be in geographies where the other local banks were also distressed. Our results suggest that PE investors helped channel capital to underperforming failed banks when the “natural” potential bank acquirers were themselves constrained, filling the gap created by a weak, undercapitalized banking sector. Next, we use a quasi-random empirical design based on proprietary bidding data to examine ex post performance and real effects. We find that PE-acquired banks performed better ex post, with positive real effects for the local economy. Our results suggest that private equity investors had a positive role in stabilizing the financial system in the crisis through their involvement in failed bank resolution.
Keywords: Private equity, Financial stability, Failed banks, Financial crisis
JEL Classification: E65, G18, G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation