This study reinvestigates the relationship between financial leverage and firm characteristics in a cross-sectional setting and a panel setting. Monte-Carlo simulation-based inference results confirm the finding of Barraclough (2007) that a cross-sectional multiple regression model sharing common divisors suffers from a latent spurious ratio problem. To avoid the spurious ratio problem, variables in changes instead of ratios are adopted in two panel models: a first-differenced fixed-effects panel model and a dynamic Generalized Method of Moments panel model. The two models respectively integrate fixed effects (e.g. the persistence nature of financial leverage) and endogeneity features of financial leverage decisions. Model results suggest past realization of debt explains most of the current debt level after controlling for endogeneity. We find no significant association between debt and firm characteristics.