The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach & Education function engages, empowers and educates the public in the Second District. Our outreach mission furthers the Bank’s commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and developing programs, analysis and sponsored conferences and clinics to help meet their needs. Our education mission aims to advance public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System and its role in the economy.
In this paper, we assess the effects of CEO stock options on three key corporate policies for banks: investment choice, amount of borrowing, and level of capital. Using a sample of 549 bank-years for publicly traded banks from 1992 to 2002, we find that stock option grants lead CEOs to undertake riskier investments. In particular, higher levels of option grants are associated with higher levels of equity and asset volatility. Consistent with the role of options as a nondebt tax shield, we also show that option grants reduce the banks’ incentive to borrow as evidenced by lower levels of interest expense and federal funds borrowing. Furthermore, we demonstrate that increases in CEO and employee stock option grants result in increased bank capital levels, perhaps because option grants create a contingent liability for the firm that needs to be funded in advance.