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Rebel Cole, Ph.D. - Florida Atlantic University. Boca Raton, FL, US

Rebel Cole, Ph.D. Rebel Cole, Ph.D.

Lynn Eminent Scholar Endowed Professor of Finance | Florida Atlantic University


Rebel Cole is an expert in commercial banking, corporate governance, financial institutions, real estate and small-business finance.




Rebel Cole holds the Lynn Eminent Scholar Endowed Professorship in Finance at the College of Business of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina in 1988, after which he spent ten years working in the Federal Reserve System, primarily at the Board of Governors in Washington, DC where he oversaw design, development and implementation of the System for Estimating Examination Ratings (SEER)--the Fed's primary system for offsite monitoring of banks and bank holding companies--and the 1993 iteration of the Fed’s Survey of Small Business Finances.

Since leaving the Board of Governors in 1997, Cole has served as a special advisor to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other non-governmental organizations, providing training and technical assistance to central banks in developing countries that include Antigua, the Bahamas, Belize, Bhutan, Cape Verde, China, Ghana, Guyana, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Palestine, the Philippines, Russia, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Cole has participated in more than 60 international missions to these countries to assist in the development of stress tests, financial stability indicators, and off-site monitoring systems for commercial banks and other financial institutions.

Cole has published peer-reviewed articles in top academic journals that include the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Banking & Finance, the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics and Real Estate Economics. His primary areas of research are commercial banking, corporate governance, financial institutions, real estate and small-business finance. According to Google Scholar, his works have been cited by other scholars more than 6,800 times. According to Scopus, his works have been cited more than 1,300 times.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Small Business Finance

Financial Institutions

Commercial Banking

Corporate Governance

Real Estate

Education (2)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Ph.D. 1998

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: B.A. 1981

Selected Media Appearances (10)

Floridians Fared Worst in Study of Pandemic Unemployment Relief

Bloomberg Law  


“Florida’s UI computer system, like those in many other states, crumbled under the onslaught of UI filings after the lockdown was implemented in March,” said Rebel Cole, a business and finance professor at Florida Atlantic University who studies unemployment trends.

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With COVID-19 cases on the decline, is Phase 3 of reopening Florida coming soon?

FOX 51  


"We are on the downhill path to getting to a new normal," Rebel Cole, of Florida Atlantic University, told FOX 35. "It looks like all those measures show that we peaked around July 20 and have been declining for over four weeks."

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FAU researchers create new COVID-19 tracker

CBS 12 News  


"A lot of the existing COVID trackers don't really present the information in a coherent and comprehensive manner, so we think we are filling that niche," said Dr. Cole.

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Florida professor says COVID-19 death counts need more transparency

FOX 35 Orlando  


“These numbers are not daily numbers that are reported. They’re data dumps and that’s the important thing to keep in mind,” Dr. Rebel Cole said.

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More layoffs coming as businesses brace for COVID-19 lockdowns

Sun Sentinel  


“Now with the specter of another major lockdown, these firms are saying it’s time to cut bait,” said Rebel Cole, a professor of finance at Florida Atlantic University.

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Is Florida’s COVID-19 positivity rate accurate? Labs not reporting negative test results



“This is a real problem because the percentage positive ratio is an important metric for reopening the economy and schools. If you add to the numerator and not to the denominator, you’re biasing that ratio upwards, so we’re getting misleading information. Even worse, now that people know about this, this is seriously undermining the credibility of the Florida Department of Health statistics, so we don’t really know what’s accurate and what’s not accurate,” explained Dr. Rebel Cole, a business professor at Florida Atlantic University, which is about to publish its own data tracker.

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Florida changes COVID reporting requirements, saying labs did not share negative results

Yahoo News  


“So many labs reporting only positives doesn’t make sense,” said Rebel Cole, a business professor at Florida Atlantic University, which is about to publish its own data tracker. “We need to demand they provide better data. The Department of Health already is under a lot of pressure for lack of transparency in their dashboard. They need to step up and make accurate information available.”

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Study: Restaurant brands going public can rake it in with 2-stage IPO

QSR Web  


"We know that when a firm goes public the underwriters underprice the initial public offering to ensure that all the shares will sell and the underwriter doesn't get stuck with them," study author Rebel Cole, Ph.D., said in the release. The Kaye Family Endowed Professor in Finance at FAU added, "So, if you can minimize that initial underpricing that could be millions, if not tens of millions of dollars more for the firm." [...]

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Senate bank bill may only indirectly boost small business loans



Rebel Cole, who studies bank lending to small businesses as a professor at Florida Atlantic University, is skeptical. Cole says that if the bill becomes law, it will make only a modest difference in how much small banks lend to businesses. "There appears to be some regulatory relief for banks less than $10 billion, which could indirectly lead to more small-business lending," he said by email. But "overall, I don’t see this bill as having much impact on much of anything. Just nibbling at the edges." [...]

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Close failing banks before they cost US billions of dollars, says study



Rebel Cole, Ph.D., professor and Kaye Family Endowed Chair of Finance at FAU's College of Business, and Lawrence J. White, Ph.D., the Robert Kavesh Professor of Economics at New York University's Stern School of Business, examined data from the years 2007-2014, during which U.S. bank regulators closed 433 commercial banks and 77 savings institutions. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the deposit insurer for these institutions, has estimated that closure costs totaled $77.5 billion. [...]

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Selected Articles (5)

Does FinTech Compete with or Complement Bank Finance?


Rebel Cole et al.


We consider comprehensive data on crowdfunding in the U.S., including debt (marketplace lending), rewards, donations, and equity crowdfunding, to formally test for the first time if banks are complements or substitutes to crowdfunding. The data indicate that bank failures in a county are associated with a reduction in debt and rewards crowdfunding, and total crowdfunding (including donations and rewards as well, however, bank failures are statistically unrelated to those types of crowdfunding in our empirical setting). The data are consistent with bank failures being associated with a reduction in the aggregate number of entrepreneurs in a county, while the remaining entrepreneurs seeking crowdfunding are less reliant on external debt finance in their county. Overall, the data indicate crowdfunding and traditional bank finance are complements.

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An Empirical Comparison of Early Warning Bank Failure Models Using McNemar's Test


Rebel A Cole, Jon Taylor

2018 In a field of study as robust as bank failure, many researchers investigate the same question: What factors increase the likelihood of bank failure? Models built to answer this question are highly accurate and span decades of research. What has yet to be answered is whether the models are different. This paper uses McNemar’s Test on out of sample predictions to show with statistical significance that discordant errors (where one model is correct and the other is wrong) provide the answer. This paper uses Cole and White (2012) as a baseline model to which two other papers (Martin (1977) and DeYoung and Torna (2013)) are compared. We find that the Martin model is highly accurate on its own, but in a different way than Cole and White. Additionally, we find that the DeYoung and Torna model is statistically different from Cole and White, but an interesting trade-off in accuracy occurs. Finally, we compare a hybrid model which relies on variables of interest from all three papers and find that the new approach is dissimilar and more accurate. The testing methodology is useful for all predictive models which benefit from a vast source of prior research and serves as a tool for researchers to determine if their new predictive model is different in a meaningful way, which may help future researchers decide how best to contribute to their field of research.

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Hierarchy of bank loan approval and loan performance

Economica Politica

Rebel Cole et al.

2018 This paper analyzes data from a regional Italian bank to provide new evidence on the relationship between who, within a bank, approves a loan and the subsequent performance of the loan. The size of the bank and its pool of clients, who are primarily small- and medium-size firms, comprises characteristics of both relationship-based and transaction-based lending technologies. Our key finding is that the probability of loan default increases as the loan approval decision is made at higher levels of the lending-decision hierarchy. This evidence supports the primacy of relationship-lending technology relative to transaction-based lending technology.

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Changes in Personal Bankruptcy Protection Laws: The Impact on Bank Lending to Small Businesses


Jason Damm, Masim Suleymanov, Rebel A Cole

2018 In the U.S., individual parties who file for bankruptcy can exempt a certain dollar amount of property from creditor liquidation during the debt settlement process. We examine the effect of changes to these protection laws on bank lending to small businesses. Our results indicate that additional debtor protection, brought about by changes to bankruptcy laws, significantly reduces the amount of credit issued by banks to small businesses. We find that this impact is more severe for small businesses located in census tracts with low income levels and that our results are largely driven by lending in urban areas.

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US exchange upgrades: Reducing uncertainty through a two-stage IPO

Journal of Financial Intermediation

Rebel A Cole, Ioannis V Floros, Vladimir I Ivanov

2018 We examine the effects on IPO uncertainty of an alternative going-public mechanism – the two-stage IPO, where a firm first gets quoted on the OTC market, and then upgrades to a national exchange where it first issues public equity. We find that a two-stage IPO firm experiences lower underpricing and return volatility than does a similar traditional IPO firm. Our study is the first to analyze the impact of U.S. pre-IPO disclosure and liquidity on levels of uncertainty and pricing at the IPO stage. We find that greater disclosure and liquidity during the first stage leads to greater reduction in IPO uncertainty. We control for the potentially endogenous nature of the two-stage IPOs by using a difference-in-difference analysis that utilizes two exogenous OTC market events.

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