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.
Reports des European Forecasting Network (EFN)
Reports des European Forecasting Network (EFN) Das European Forecasting Network...
Advances in Using Vector Autoregressions to Estimate Structural Magnitudes ...
Why They Keep Missing: An Empirical Investigation of Sovereign Bond Ratings and Their Timing
Scottish Journal of Political Economy,
Two contradictory strands of the rating literature criticize that rating agencies merely follow the market on the one hand, and emphasizing that rating changes affect capital movements on the other hand. Both focus on explaining rating levels rather than the timing of rating announcements. Contrarily, we explicitly differentiate between a decision to assess a country and the actual rating decision. We show that this differentiation significantly improves the estimation of the rating function. The three major rating agencies treat economic fundamentals similarly, while differing in their response to other factors such as strategic considerations. This reconciles the conflicting literature.
The Joint Dynamics of Sovereign Ratings and Government Bond Yields
Journal of Banking and Finance,
Can a negative shock to sovereign ratings invoke a vicious cycle of increasing government bond yields and further downgrades, ultimately pushing a country toward default? The narratives of public and political discussions, as well as of some widely cited papers, suggest this possibility. In this paper, we will investigate the possible existence of such a vicious cycle. We find no evidence of a bad long-run equilibrium and cannot confirm a feedback loop leading into default as a transitory state for all but the very worst ratings. We use a bivariate semiparametric dynamic panel model to reproduce the joint dynamics of sovereign ratings and government bond yields. The individual equations resemble Pesaran-type cointegration models, which allow for valid interference regardless of whether the employed variables display unit-root behavior. To incorporate most of the empirical features previously documented (separately) in the literature, we allow for different long-run relationships in both equations, nonlinearities in the level effects of ratings, and asymmetric effects in changes of ratings and yields. Our finding of a single good equilibrium implies the slow convergence of ratings and yields toward this equilibrium. However, the persistence of ratings is sufficiently high that a rating shock can have substantial costs if it occurs at a highly speculative rating or lower. Rating shocks that drive the rating below this threshold can increase the interest rate sharply, and for a long time. Yet, simulation studies based on our estimations show that it is highly improbable that rating agencies can be made responsible for the most dramatic spikes in interest rates.
Determinants of the Size of the Sovereign Credit Default Swap Market
Journal of Fixed Income,
We analyze the sovereign credit default swap (CDS) market for 57 countries, using a novel dataset comprising weekly positions and turnover data. We document that CDS markets—measured relative to a country’s debt—are larger for smaller countries, countries with a rating just above the investment-grade cutoff, and countries with weaker creditor rights. Analyzing changes in credit risk, we find that rating changes matter but only for negative rating events (downgrades and negative outlooks). In particular, weeks with downgrades and negative outlooks are associated with a significantly higher turnover in the sovereign CDS market, even after controlling for changes in sovereign CDS spreads. We conclude that agencies’ ratings are a major determinant of the size of the sovereign CDS market.