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Diane Publishing Books
2007-09 Financial Crisis and Bank Opaqueness
Mark J. Flannery (au); Simon H. Kwan (au); Mahendrarajah Nimalendran (au)
Doubts about the accuracy with which outside investors can assess a banking firmäó»s value motivate many government interventions in the banking market. The recent financial crisis has reinforced concerns about the possibility that banks are unusually opaque. Yet the empirical evidence, thus far, is mixed. This study examines the trading characteristics of bank shares over the period from Jan. 1990 through Sept. 2009. It finds that bank share trading exhibits sharply different features before vs. during the crisis. Until mid-2007, large (NYSE-traded) banking firms appear to be no more opaque than a set of control firms, and smaller (NASD-traded) banks are, at most, slightly more opaque. During the crisis, however, both large and small banking firms exhibit a sharp increase in opacity, consistent with the policy interventions implemented at the time. Although portfolio composition is significantly related to market microstructure variables, no specific asset category(s) stand out as particularly important in determining bank opacity. Tables and figures. This is a print on demand report.
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