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Author:Mehran, Hamid 

Working Paper
The Effect of Changes in Ownership Structure on Performance: Evidence from the Thrift Industry

Restrictions on the ownership structure of a public company may harm the company's performance by preventing owners from choosing the best structure. We examine the stock-price performance and ownership structure, before and after the expiration of anti-takeover regulations, of a sample of thrift institutions that converted from mutual to stock ownership. We find that after the anti-takeover provisions expire, firm performance improves significantly, and the portions of the firm owned by managers, noninstitutional outside blockholders, and the firm's employee stock ownership plan increase. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1996-06

Bank capital and value in the cross section

We address two questions: (i) Are bank capital structure and value correlated in the cross section, and if so, how? (ii) If bank capital does affect bank value, how are the components of bank value affected by capital? We first develop a dynamic model with a dissipative cost of bank capital that is traded off against the benefits of capital: strengthened incentives for the bank to engage in value-enhancing loan monitoring and a higher probability of avoiding regulatory closure due to loan delinquencies. The model predicts that (i) the total value of the bank and its equity capital are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 390

ESOP fables: the impact of employee stock ownership plans on labor disputes

By the early 1990s, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) had become as prevalent in unionized firms as in nonunionized firms. However, little research has been devoted to examining the implications of ESOPs for collective bargaining or, more generally, for cross ownership. In this paper, we extend the signaling model of Cramton and Tracy (1992) to allow partial ownership by the union. We demonstrate that ESOPs create incentives for unions to become weaker bargainers. As a result, the model predicts that ESOPs will lead to a reduction in strike incidence and in the fraction of labor disputes ...
Staff Reports , Paper 347

The impact of tax law changes on bank dividend policy, sell-offs, organizational form, and industry structure

This paper investigates the effect at the bank and industry level of a 1996 tax law change allowing commercial banks to elect S-corporation status. By the end of 2007, roughly one in three commercial banks had either opted for or converted to the S-corporation form of organization. Our study analyzes the effect of this conversion on bank dividend payouts. It also examines the effect S-corporation status has on a community bank's likelihood of sell-off and measures a firm's sensitivity to tax rates based on its choice of organizational form. We document that dividend payouts increase ...
Staff Reports , Paper 369

Gender and the availability of credit to privately held firms: evidence from the surveys of small business finances

This study analyzes differences by gender in the ownership of privately held U.S. firms and examines the role of gender in the availability of credit. Using data from the nationally representative Surveys of Small Business Finances, which span a period of sixteen years, we document a series of empirical regularities in male- and female-owned firms. Looking at the differences by gender, we find that female-owned firms are 1) significantly smaller, as measured by sales, assets, and employment; 2) younger, as measured by age of the firm; 3) more likely to be organized as proprietorships and less ...
Staff Reports , Paper 383

Caught between Scylla and Charybdis? Regulating bank leverage when there is rent seeking and risk shifting

We consider a model in which banking is characterized by asset substitution moral hazard and managerial underprovision of effort in loan monitoring. The privately optimal bank leverage efficiently balances the benefit of debt in providing the discipline to ensure that the bank monitors its loans against the benefit of equity in attenuating asset-substitution moral hazard. However, when correlated bank failures impose significant social costs, regulators bail out bank creditors. Anticipation of this action generates multiple equilibria, including an equilibrium featuring systemic risk, in ...
Staff Reports , Paper 469

Executive compensation and risk taking

This paper studies the connection between risk taking and executive compensation in financial institutions. A theoretical model of shareholders, debtholders, depositors, and an executive suggests that 1) in principle, excessive risk taking (in the form of risk shifting) may be addressed by basing compensation on both stock price and the price of debt (proxied by the credit default swap spread), but 2) shareholders may be unable to commit to designing compensation contracts in this way and indeed may not want to because of distortions introduced by either deposit insurance or naive ...
Staff Reports , Paper 456

Corporate performance, board structure, and their determinants in the banking industry

The subprime crisis highlights how little we know about the governance of banks. This paper addresses a long-standing gap in the literature by analyzing board governance using a sample of banking firm data that spans forty years. We examine the relationship between board structure (size and composition) and bank performance, as well as some determinants of board structure. We document that mergers and acquisitions activity influences bank board composition, and we provide new evidence that organizational structure is significantly related to bank board size. We argue that these factors may ...
Staff Reports , Paper 330

CDS and equity market reactions to stock issuances in the U.S. financial industry: evidence from the 2002-13 period

We study seasoned equity issuances by financial and nonfinancial companies between 2002 and 2013. To assess the risk and valuation implications of these issuances, we conduct an event-study analysis using daily credit default swap (CDS) and stock market pricing data. The major findings of the paper are that equity prices do not react to new issues in the pre-crisis period, but react negatively in the crisis. CDS prices respond to new, default-relevant information. Over the full sample period, cumulative abnormal CDS spreads drop in response to equity issuance announcements. The reactions are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 697

Robust capital regulation

Banks? leverage choices represent a delicate balancing act. Credit discipline argues for more leverage, while balance-sheet opacity and ease of asset substitution argue for less. Meanwhile, regulatory safety nets promote ex post financial stability, but also create perverse incentives for banks to engage in correlated asset choices and to hold little equity capital. As a way to cope with these distorted incentives, we outline a two-tier capital framework for banks. The first tier is a regular core capital requirement that helps deter excessive risk-taking incentives. The second tier, a novel ...
Staff Reports , Paper 490


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