Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Financial intermediaries, leverage ratios, and business cycles

Mimir, Yasin (2010): Financial intermediaries, leverage ratios, and business cycles.

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Abstract

I document cyclical properties of aggregate measures of liabilities, equity, and leverage ratio in the U.S. financial sector and those of credit spread. I find that (i) liabilities and equity are procyclical, leverage ratio is acyclical, and credit spread is countercyclical, (ii) financial variables are three to ten times more volatile than output, and (iii) financial variables lead the business cycle. I present a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with profit maximizing banks where bank equity mitigates a moral hazard problem between banks and their depositors. The driving sources of business cycles are shocks to bank equity as well as standard productivity shocks. The model generates real and financial fluctuations consistent with the U.S. data. The model also delivers some policy prescriptions about capital adequacy requirements of banks.

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