Political Uncertainty and Bank Loan Contracts: Does Government Quality Matter?
Journal of Financial Services Research,
We investigate the relation between political uncertainty and bank loan spreads using a sample of loan contracts for the G20 firms during the period from 1982 to 2015. We find that banks charge firms higher loan spreads and require more covenants during election years when domestic political risks are elevated. Greater differences in the support ratios of opinion polls on candidates lead to the lower cost of bank loans. This political effect also lessens when the government quality of the borrower’s country is better than that of the lender’s country. Better quality government can lower the political risk component of bank loan spreads.
Democracy and Credit
Journal of Financial Economics,
Does democratization reduce the cost of credit? Using global syndicated loan data from 1984 to 2014, we find that democratization has a sizable negative effect on loan spreads: a 1-point increase in the zero-to-ten Polity IV index of democracy shaves at least 19 basis points off spreads, but likely more. Reversals to autocracy hike spreads more strongly. Our findings are robust to the comprehensive inclusion of relevant controls, to the instrumentation with regional waves of democratization, and to a battery of other sensitivity tests. We thus highlight the lower cost of loans as one relevant mechanism through which democratization can affect economic development.
Corporate Misconduct and the Cost of Private Debt: Evidence from China
Comparative Economic Studies,
Using a comprehensive dataset of corporate lawsuits in China, we investigate the implications of corporate misconduct on the cost of private debt. Evidence reveals that firms involved in litigations obtain subsequent loans with stricter pricing terms, 15.1 percent higher loan spreads, than non-litigated borrowers. Strong political connection and repeated relationship help to flatten the sensitivity of loan pricing to litigation. Nonbank financial institutions react in stronger manner to corporate misconduct than traditional banks in pricing loans. Overall, we show that private debt holders care about borrowers’ wrongdoing in the past.