Regulation and Information Costs of Sovereign Distress: Evidence from Corporate Lending Markets
Journal of Corporate Finance,
We examine the effect of sovereign credit impairments on the pricing of syndicated loans following rating downgrades in the borrowing firms' countries of domicile. We find that the sovereign ceiling policies used by credit rating agencies create a disproportionately adverse impact on the bounded firms' borrowing costs relative to other domestic firms following their sovereign's rating downgrade. Rating-based regulatory frictions partially explain our results. On the supply-side, loans carry a higher spread when granted from low-capital banks, non-bank lenders, and banks with high market power. We further document an operating demand-side channel, contingent on borrowers' size, financial constraints, and global diversification. Our results can be attributed to the relative bargaining power between lenders and borrowers: relationship borrowers and non-bank dependent borrowers with alternative financing sources are much less affected.
Economic Preferences for Risk-Taking and Financing Costs
Journal of Corporate Finance,
We hypothesize and empirically establish that economic preferences for risk-taking in different subnational regions affect firm financing costs. We study this hypothesis by hand-matching firms' regions worldwide with the corresponding regional economic risk-taking preferences. We first show that higher regional risk-taking is positively associated with several measures of firm risk and investments. Subsequently, our baseline results show that credit and bond pricing increase when risk-taking preferences increase. For the loan of average size and maturity a one-standard-deviation increase in regional risk-taking increases interest expense by $0.54 million USD. We also find that these results are demand (firm)-driven and stronger for firms with more local shareholders.
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Agency Cost of CEO Perquisites in Bank Loan Contracts
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting,
This study investigates the association between CEO perquisites and bank loan spreads. We collect detailed data on CEO perquisites from the proxy statements of S&P 500 firms between 1993 and 2015 to study this issue. The empirical evidence supports the agency cost view that the lending banks demand significantly higher returns (spread), more collateral, and stricter covenants from firms with higher CEO perquisites. We further confirm that the effect of these perquisites remains after we control for various corporate governance and agency cost factors. We conclude that banks consider CEO perquisites as a type of agency cost when they make lending decisions.