Asymmetric Reactions of Abnormal Audit Fees Jump to Credit Rating Changes
British Accounting Review,
Considering the inherent stickiness of abnormal audit fees, our study contributes to the literature by decomposing abnormal audit fees into a jump component and long-run sticky component. We investigate whether and how changes in credit ratings asymmetrically affect the jump component of abnormal audit fees. We document a positive association between rating downgrades and the jump component. We find that heightened bankruptcy risk and misstatement risk are the mechanisms that drive this relationship. Further analysis shows that firms experiencing rating downgrades are more likely to receive a going concern opinion and experience longer audit report lags. Taken together, our findings provide direct evidence that credit ratings are significantly associated with abnormal audit fees, particularly with the jump component. Given the serial correlation of abnormal audit fees, our study sheds light on the importance of disaggregation of the abnormal audit fee residuals into the jump and long-run sticky components.
Is Risk the Fuel of the Business Cycle? Financial Frictions and Oil Market Disturbances
IWH Discussion Papers,
I estimate a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model for the United States that incorporates oil market shocks and risk shocks working through credit market frictions. The findings of this analysis indicate that risk shocks play a crucial role during the Great Recession and the Dot-Com bubble but not during other economic downturns. Credit market frictions do not amplify persistent oil market shocks. This result holds as long as entry and exit rates of entrepreneurs are independent of the business cycle.
14.12.2023 • 30/2023
Exports and private consumption weak ‒ Germany is waiting for an economic upturn
In the winter of 2023/2024, the German economy is still in a downturn. Parts of industry have lost competitiveness, real incomes have fallen in 2023 due to inflation, and there is uncertainty about the course of fiscal policy. However, rising real incomes and a slight increase in exports should cause a pickup from spring onwards. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to fall by 0.3% in 2023 and to expand by 0.5% in 2024 (East Germany: +0.5% and +0.7%). In September, the IWH forecast had assumed a decline of 0.5% for Germany in 2023 and expected growth of 0.9% for the coming year.
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Conditional Macroeconomic Survey Forecasts: Revisions and Errors
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Using data from the European Central Bank's Survey of Professional Forecasters and ECB/Eurosystem staff projections, we analyze the role of ex-ante conditioning variables for macroeconomic forecasts. In particular, we test to which extent the updating and ex-post performance of predictions for inflation, real GDP growth and unemployment are related to beliefs about future oil prices, exchange rates, interest rates and wage growth. While oil price and exchange rate predictions are updated more frequently than macroeconomic forecasts, the opposite is true for interest rate and wage growth expectations. Beliefs about future inflation are closely associated with oil price expectations, whereas expected interest rates are related to predictions of output growth and unemployment. Exchange rate predictions also matter for macroeconomic forecasts, albeit less so than the other variables. With regard to forecast errors, wage growth and GDP growth closely comove, but only during the period when interest rates are at the effective zero lower bound.
07.09.2023 • 23/2023
The German economy continues its downturn
High inflation, increased interest rates, weak foreign demand and uncertainty among private households and firms are currently weighing on the German economy. In its autumn forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 0.5% in 2023 and to increase by 0.9% in 2024.
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Compensation Regulation in Banking: Executive Director Behavior and Bank Performance after the EU Bonus Cap
Journal of Accounting and Economics,
The regulation that caps executives’ variable compensation, as part of the Capital Requirements Directive IV of 2013, likely affected executive turnover, compensation design, and risk-taking in EU banking. The current study identifies significantly higher average turnover rates but also finds that they are driven by CEOs at poorly performing banks. Banks indemnified their executives by off-setting the bonus cap with higher fixed compensation. Although our evidence is only suggestive, we do not find any reduction in risk-taking at the bank level, one purported aim of the regulation.
Market-implied Ratings and Their Divergence from Credit Ratings
Journal of Financial Research,
In this article, we investigate the divergence between credit ratings (CRs) and Moody's market-implied ratings (MIRs). Our evidence shows that rating gaps provide incremental information to the market regarding issuers' default risk over CRs alone in the short horizon and outperform CRs over extended horizons. The predictive ability of rating gaps is greater for more opaque and volatile issuers. Such predictability was more pronounced during the 2008 financial crisis but weakened in the post-Dodd-Frank Act period. This finding is consistent with credit rating agencies' efforts to improve their performance when facing regulatory pressure. Moreover, our analysis identifies rating-gap signals that do (do not) lead to subsequent Moody's actions to place issuers on negative outlook and watchlists. We find that negative signals from MIR gaps have a real economic impact on issuers' fundamentals such as profitability, leverage, investment, and default risk, thus supporting the recovery-efforts hypothesis.
To Securitize or To Price Credit Risk?
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis,
Do lenders securitize or price loans in response to credit risk? Exploiting exogenous variation in regional credit risk due to foreclosure law differences along US state borders, we find that lenders securitize mortgages that are eligible for sale to the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) rather than price regional credit risk. For non-GSE-eligible mortgages with no GSE buyback provision, lenders increase interest rates as they are unable to shift credit risk to loan purchasers. The results inform the debate surrounding the GSEs' buyback provisions, the constant interest rate policy, and show that underpricing regional credit risk increases the GSEs' debt holdings.