Date of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Economics, PhD


School of Politics and Economics

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Thomas D. Willett

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Thomas Borcherding

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Levan Efremidze

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Mohammad Almakrami


economics, financial systemic crisis, financial statements, ratios, reports

Subject Categories

Finance and Financial Management | Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods


The financial crisis of 2007-2009 had divesting effects around the globe. Many financial institutions and government officials failed to see the build up of problems predicting the crisis and hence failed to take actions to keep the crisis from breaking out. Thus, it is important to see if the emerging problems could have been identified in advance in order to develop types of analysis that could help us avoid future crises. A full investigation of such possibilities will require many different studies taking different approaches. This dissertation contributes to that collective effort by investigating the extent to which balance sheet information could have been used to identify the emerging problems. We implement our research strategy by analyzing what types of balance sheet information did the best job of explaining how hard different major financial institutions were hit during the crisis.

We constructed a large data set of financial variables from the financial reports of financial institutions over the years 2002 to 2011. We used this data to developed models to predict the damage to an individual firm when a systemic crisis occurred based on its financial position and performance over varying time periods and relative to other institutions’ characteristics. We used changes in stock market prices as our measure of performance. We found that the financial leverage ratio and the mismatch between current assets and current liabilities are the most significant ratios to predict the degree of stock market declines each institution would face if a systemic crisis occurred. We quantified the degree of the financial leverage and current ratios in two different ways, an average level and accumulated time-weighted rate of change over different lags of periods using two different estimation techniques. We found that the financial leverage and current ratios can be used as early warning signals based on both the multivariable fractional polynomials estimation technique and structural equation modeling. However, the out-of-sample tests showed that the imbalance between current assets and current liability would be the only significant predictor of the changes in stock market prices. The test confirmed that the changes in pre-crisis stock prices are less sensitive to the leverage ratio but more sensitive during crisis.