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We provide an extensive analysis of the payout policy of U.S. banks around the financial crisis. First, while banks significantly reduce share repurchases between 2007 and 2008, they hardly reduced total dividends until 2009. Second, using established models to explain dividends, dividend payments in the crisis do not look excessive compared to banks' fundamentals in the crisis. Third, there is some heterogeneity in dividend policy; banks that do less well in the crisis reduce their dividenddoi:10.2139/ssrn.2621772 fatcat:szvb36sr7zdipakxqudz7xbype