- English (6) (remove)
- Hidden gems and borrowers with dirty little secrets: investment in soft information, borrower self-selection and competition (2013)
- This paper empirically examines the role of soft information in the competitive interaction between relationship and transaction banks. Soft information can be interpreted as a private signal about the quality of a firm that is observable to a relationship bank, but not to a transaction bank. We show that borrowers self-select to relationship banks depending on whether their privately observed soft information is positive or negative. Competition affects the investment in learning the private signal from firms by relationship banks and transaction banks asymmetrically. Relationship banks invest more; transaction banks invest less in soft information, exacerbating the selection effect. Finally, we show that firms where soft information was important in the lending decision were no more likely to default compared to firms where only financial information was used.
- Financial incentives and loan officer behavior: multitasking and allocation of effort under an incomplete contract : [version: July 04, 2014] (2014)
- In this paper we investigate the implications of providing loan officers with a compensation structure that rewards loan volume and penalizes poor performance versus a fixed wage unrelated to performance. We study detailed transaction information for more than 45,000 loans issued by 240 loan officers of a large commercial bank in Europe. We examine the three main activities that loan officers perform: monitoring, originating, and screening. We find that when the performance of their portfolio deteriorates, loan officers increase their effort to monitor existing borrowers, reduce loan origination, and approve a higher fraction of loan applications. These loans, however, are of above-average quality. Consistent with the theoretical literature on multitasking in incomplete contracts, we show that loan officers neglect activities that are not directly rewarded under the contract, but are in the interest of the bank. In addition, while the response by loan officers constitutes a rational response to a time allocation problem, their reaction to incentives appears myopic in other dimensions.
- Does the stock market react to unsolicited ratings? (2006)
- This paper investigates whether the stock market reacts to unsolicited ratings for a sample of S&P rated firms from January 1996 to December 2005. We first analyze the stock market reaction associated with the assignment of an initial unsolicited rating. We find evidence that this reaction is negative and particularly accentuated for Japanese firms. A comparison between S&P’s initial unsolicited ratings with previously published ratings of two Japanese rating agencies for a Japanese subsample shows that ratings assigned by S&P are systematically worse. Further, we find that the stock market does not react to the transition from an unsolicited to a solicited rating. Comparison of the upgrades in the sample with a matched-sample of upgrades of solicited ratings reveals that the price reactions are no different. In addition, abnormal returns are worse for firms whose rating remained unchanged after the solicitation compared to those for upgraded firms. Finally, we find that Japanese firms are less likely to receive an upgrade. Our findings suggest that unsolicited ratings are biased downwards, that the capital market therefore expects upgrades of formerly unsolicited ratings and punishes firms whose ratings remain unchanged. All these effects seem to be more pronounced for Japanese firms.
- Using a bootstrap approach to rate the raters (2004)
- This paper compares the accuracy of credit ratings of Moody s and Standard&Poors. Based on 11,428 issuer ratings and 350 defaults in several datasets from 1999 to 2003 a slight advantage for the rating system of Moody s is detected. Compared to former research the robustness of the results is increased by using nonparametric bootstrap approaches. Furthermore, robustness checks are made to control for the impact of Watchlist entries, staleness of ratings and the effect of unsolicited ratings on the results.
- Intraday stock price effects of ad hoc disclosures : the German case (2005)
- This paper examines intraday stock price effects and trading activity caused by ad hoc disclosures in Germany. The evidence suggests that the observed stock prices react within 90 minutes after the ad hoc disclosures. Trading volumes take even longer to adjust. We find no evidence for abnormal price reactions or abnormal trading volume before announcements. The bigger the company that announces an ad hoc disclosure, the less severe is the abnormal price effect following the announcement. The number of analysts is negatively correlated to the trading volume effect before the ad hoc disclosure. The higher the trading volume on the last trading day before the announcement, the greater is the price effect after the ad hoc disclosures and the greater the trading volume effect. Keywords: ad hoc disclosure rules, intraday stock price adjustments, market efficiency.
- The adjustment of credit ratings of defaulted issuers (2005)
- We provide insights into determinants of the rating level of 371 issuers which defaulted in the years 1999 to 2003, and into the leader-follower relationship between Moody’s and S&P. The evidence for the rating level suggests that Moody’s assigns lower ratings than S&P for all observed periods before the default event. Furthermore, we observe two-way Granger causal-ity, which signifies information flow between the two rating agencies. Since lagged rating changes influence the magnitude of the agencies’ own rating changes it would appear that the two rating agencies apply a policy of taking a severe downgrade through several mild down-grades. Further, our analysis of rating changes shows that issuers with headquarters in the US are less sharply downgraded than non-US issuers. For rating changes by Moody’s we also find that larger issuers seem to be downgraded less severely than smaller issuers.