Bank managerial ability and accounting : do better managers report higher quality loan loss reserves and fair values?
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Given the high level of scrutiny on top executives in recent years, particularly those at banks, examining the impact of bank managers' ability on financial reporting is of great value. This paper builds on models of bank efficiency in the banking literature to derive a measure of bank managerial ability, and examines how bank managerial ability impacts the quality of accounting information related to unique bank accounting issues. I find evidence that higher ability managers do report higher quality accounting estimates for the allowance for loan losses and fair values of securities. Additionally, I identify two settings that affect the strength of the relation between bank managerial ability and accounting quality, the Financial Crisis and when capital ratios are binding. I find evidence that this relation is stronger during the recent Financial Crisis but is attenuated when capital ratios are binding. These findings should be of interest to investors, standard setters, and particularly bank regulators tasked with monitoring the stability of banks.