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.
Regional Banking Instability and FOMC Voting
Journal of Banking and Finance,
This study analyzes if regionally affiliated Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members take their districts’ regional banking sector instability into account when they vote. Considering the period 1979–2010, we find that a deterioration in a district's bank health increases the probability that this district's representative in the FOMC votes to ease interest rates. According to member-specific characteristics, the effect of regional banking sector instability on FOMC voting behavior is most pronounced for Bank presidents (as opposed to Governors) and FOMC members who have career backgrounds in the financial industry or who represent a district with a large banking sector.