February 2024

The Informational Centrality of Banks

Nathan Foley-Fisher, Gary Gorton, Stéphane Verani


The equity and debt prices of large nonbank firms contain information about the future state of the banking system. In this sense, banks are informationally central. The amount of this information varies over time and over equity and debt. During a financial crisis banks are, by definition of a crisis, at risk of failure. Debt prices became about 50 percent more informative than equity prices about the future state of the banking system during the financial crisis of 2007-2009. This was partly due to investors' fears that banks might not be able to refinance the firms' debt.

Keywords: Price informativeness, Asset pricing, Banking system, Financial crises

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2024.006

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: February 02, 2024