• THREE ESSAYS ON FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES REACTION TO CHANGING MARKET CONDITIONS

      Ritter, Moritz B.; Webber, Douglas (Douglas A.); Leeds, Michael (Michael A.); Scott, Jonathan A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      This dissertation continues the tradition of identifying the effects of economic shocks to financial intermediaries. Its main contribution is to estimate the size of credit market disruptions in the form of government intervention, asset market crises, and competitive pressures, while using methods that are more novel and appropriate than those of previous work. Chapter 1 examines the effect of the elimination of U.S. banking regulations, which are intended to expand the access of financial services within states and across state-lines, on entrepreneurship activity. It finds that there was increase in small business formation following the deregulation of interstate banking, but not intrastate banking. Results indicate allowing banks to lend and take deposits across state lines increases small business formation by up to 8%. There is a delayed impact following the passage of legislation indicating credit markets require time to adjust to the new regulatory environment. Heterogeneous effects exist across firm sizes in terms of economic impact magnitude and timing. The main contribution of the chapter is that examines the impact on entrepreneurship in separate periods after the initial passing and on subsets of small businesses. Whereas Chapter 1 estimates the effect of a foreseen event, Chapter 2 focuses on the impact of unexpected housing crisis on financial intermediaries loan servicing decisions. As the housing market worsened mortgage lenders could not rely solely on foreclosure processes to reduce losses on homes in default, rather many found the need to engage in modifying loan terms to allow borrowers to continue making mortgage payments. Modifications that increased the affordability of monthly payments were effective at halving the cumulative 36-month redefault rate for mortgages between 2008 and 2011. Findings indicate the improving economy and mortgage risk characteristics are not enough to explain the reduction in redefault. Instead, results find evidence of “learning –by-doing” i.e., servicers become better at targeting borrowers for modification and providing the appropriate payment relief over time. Voluntary government modification programs serve as guidelines for servicers to design and invest in their own modification processes. The impact of this learning by doing is evident before and after controlling for macroeconomic conditions, borrower characteristics, and loan terms. Previous studies do not effectively isolate the improvement in post-modification with an econometric model using a control group similar to this one. Furthermore, other studies consider only particular servicer subsets of mortgage modifications, such as private securitized, whereas the sample here considers all servicer types and payment reducing modifications. Ultimately, the results indicate mortgage modifications were an effective non-foreclosure alternative to keep homeowners in their homes and monthly payments flowing to mortgage servicers. Chapter 3 examines the impact of changes in bank competition on bank capital in the United States. Allen et al. (2011) proposes excessive capital holdings, i.e., capital holdings above regulatory requirements, are attributable to market discipline arising from banks’ asset side. Theory predicts competition incentivizes banks to hold higher levels of capital because this indicates a commitment to monitoring to encourage bank stability. I examine heterogeneous impacts of competition on capital over the business cycle and across bank size. Economic downturns usually bring significant changes to bank concentration, which can cause a different impact than during economic booms. Smaller banks can feel different competitive pressures than larger banks due to a focus on local lending activities. I have two main results. More intense competition is associated with higher bank capital ratios at all times (before, during, and after the financial crisis) for small, medium, and large banks. All banks see a larger impact during the crisis period compared to the pre- and post-crisis periods. The findings of this paper can have significant policy implications for the application of anti-trust regulation, since capital ratios are commonly used to restrain individual and systemic bank risk.