This paper examines how governance and risk management affect risk-taking in banks. It distinguishes between good risks, which are risks that have an ex ante private reward for the bank on a stand-alone basis, and bad risks, which do not have such a reward. A well-governed bank takes the amount of risk that maximizes shareholder wealth subject to constraints imposed by laws and regulators.
In general, this involves eliminating or mitigating all bad risks to the extent that it is cost effective to do so. The role of risk management in such a bank is not to reduce the bank?s total risk per se. It is to identify and measure the risks the bank is taking, aggregate these risks in a measure of the bank?s total risk, enable the bank to eliminate, mitigate and avoid bad risks, and ensure that its risk level is consistent with its risk appetite. Organizing the risk management function so that it plays that role is challenging because there are limitations in measuring risk and because, while more detailed rules can prevent destructive risk-taking, they also limit the
flexibility of an institution in taking advantage of opportunities that increase firm value. Limitations of risk measurement and the decentralized nature of risk-taking imply that setting appropriate incentives for risk-takers and promoting an appropriate risk culture are essential to the success of risk management in performing its function.
Relative performance evaluation (RPE) in CEO compensation can be used as a commitment device to pay CEOs for their revealed relative talent. We find evidence consistent with the talent-retention hypothesis, using two different approaches. First,...Read more
We provide an extensive analysis of the payout policy of U.S. banks during the crisis to examine potential risk-shifting and signaling motives of banks. We estimate an empirical model of bank payouts to assess the extent to which changes in...Read more
This study sets out to examine the relative importance of legal and cultural institutions and personal values in directors’ discretion. We present first evidence on the way personal and institutional factors together guide public company...Read more
Shocks that hit part of the financial system, such as the subprime mortgage market in 2007, can propagate through a complex network of interconnections among financial and non-financial institutions. As the financial crisis of 2007-2009 has shown...Read more