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.
The Disciplining Effect of Supervisory Scrutiny in the EU-wide Stress Test
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
Relying on confidential supervisory data related to the 2016 EU-wide stress test, this paper presents novel empirical evidence that supervisory scrutiny associated to stress testing has a disciplining effect on bank risk. We find that banks that participated in the 2016 EU-wide stress test subsequently reduced their credit risk relative to banks that were not part of this exercise. Relying on new metrics for supervisory scrutiny that measure the quantity, potential impact, and duration of interactions between banks and supervisors during the stress test, we find that the disciplining effect is stronger for banks subject to more intrusive supervisory scrutiny during the exercise. We also find that a strong risk management culture is a prerequisite for the supervisory scrutiny to be effective. Finally, we show that a similar disciplining effect is not exerted neither by higher capital charges nor by more transparency and related market discipline induced by the stress test.
Zinsaufschlag oder Übertragung durch Verbriefung? Der Umgang mit Risiken im US-Hypothekenmarkt
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Seit der Finanzkrise der Jahre 2007 und 2008 diskutiert die Wissenschaft darüber, wie Kreditgeber die Verbriefung von Hypotheken nutzen, um das Kreditrisiko an Dritte weiterzugeben, und wie dies zur Finanzkrise beigetragen hat. Eine aktuelle IWH-Studie betrachtet die Entscheidungssituation des Kreditgebers zwischen Risikoaufschlag und Risikoübertragung. Sie nutzt rechtliche Unterschiede in verschiedenen US-Bundesstaaten bei der Zwangsvollstreckung von Hypotheken, um daraus unterschiedliche regionale Kreditrisiken abzuleiten. Ist dieses regionale Risiko erhöht, reagieren Kreditgeber durch vermehrte Verbriefung, wenn Hypotheken zum Verkauf an halbstaatliche Agenturen (Government Sponsored Enterprises, GSE) wie Fannie Mae und Freddie Mac zugelassen sind und so gegen Ausfall versichert werden können. Bei Hypotheken, für die kein Rückkauf durch GSE infrage kommt, erhöhen die Kreditgeber dagegen die Zinsen, da sie das Kreditrisiko nicht an die Kreditkäufer weitergeben können.
The Impact of Public Guarantees on Bank Risk-taking: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
Review of Finance,
In 2001, government guarantees for savings banks in Germany were removed following a lawsuit. We use this natural experiment to examine the effect of government guarantees on bank risk-taking. The results suggest that banks whose government guarantee was removed reduced credit risk by cutting off the riskiest borrowers from credit. Using a difference-in-differences approach we show that none of these effects are present in a control group of German banks to whom the guarantee was not applicable. Furthermore, savings banks adjusted their liabilities away from risk-sensitive debt instruments after the removal of the guarantee, while we do not observe this for the control group. We also document that yield spreads of savings banks’ bonds increased significantly right after the announcement of the decision to remove guarantees, while the yield spread of a sample of bonds issued by the control group remained unchanged. The evidence implies that public guarantees may be associated with substantial moral hazard effects.
Rating Agency Actions and the Pricing of Debt and Equity of European Banks: What Can we Infer About Private Sector Monitoring of Bank Soundness?
The recent consultative papers by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has raised the possibility of an explicit role for external rating agencies in the assessment of the credit risk of banks’ assets, including interbank claims. Any judgement on the merits of this proposal calls for an assessment of the information contained in credit ratings and its relationship to other publicly available information on the financial health of banks and borrowers. We assess this issue via an event study of rating change announcements by leading international rating agencies, focusing on rating changes for European banks for which data on bond and equity prices are available. We find little evidence of announcement effects on bond prices, which may reflect the lack of liquidity in bond markets in Europe during much of our sample period. For equity prices, we find strong effects of ratings changes, although some of our results may suffer from contamination by contemporaneous news events. We also test for pre-announcement and post-announcement effects, but find little evidence of either. Overall, our results suggest that ratings agencies may perform a useful role in summarizing and obtaining non-public information on banks and that monitoring of banks’ risk through bond holders appears to be relatively limited in Europe. The relatively weak monitoring by bondholders casts some doubt on the effectiveness of a subordinated debt requirement as a supervisory tool in the European context, at least until bond markets are more developed.
Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand
Quarterly Journal of Economics,
This paper examines how personal bankruptcy and bankruptcy exemptions affect the supply and demand for credit. While generous state-level bankruptcy exemptions are probably viewed by most policy-makers as benefiting less-well-off borrowers, our results using data from the 1983 Survey of Consumer Finances suggest that they increase the amount of credit held by high-asset households and reduce the availability and amount of credit to low-asset households, conditioning on observable characteristics. Thus, bankruptcy exemptions redistribute credit toward borrowers with high assets. Interest rates on automobile loans for low-asset households also appear to be higher in high exemption states.