- The economics of rating watchlists: evidence from rating changes (2008)
- Generally, information provision and certifcation have been identified as the major economic functions of rating agencies. This paper analyzes whether the “watchlist” (rating review) instrument has extended the agencies' role towards a monitoring position, as proposed by Boot, Milbourn, and Schmeits (2006). Using a data set of Moody's rating history between 1982 and 2004, we find that the overall information content of rating action has indeed increased since the introduction of the watchlist procedure. Our findings suggest that rating reviews help to establish implicit monitoring contracts between agencies and borrowers and as such enable a finer partition of rating information, thereby contributing to a higher information quality.
- The economics of rating watchlists: evidence from rating changes (2008)
- Generally, information provision and certification have been identified as the major economic functions of rating agencies. This paper analyzes whether the “watchlist" (rating review) instrument has extended the agencies' role towards a monitoring position, as proposed by Boot, Milbourn, and Schmeits (2006). Using a data set of Moody's rating history between 1982 and 2004, we find that the overall information content of rating action has indeed increased since the introduction of the watchlist procedure. Our findings suggest that rating reviews help to establish implicit monitoring contracts between agencies and borrowers and as such enable a finer partition of rating information, thereby contributing to a higher information quality.
- Open-end real estate funds in Germany : genesis and crisis (2006)
- Open-end real estate funds are of particular importance in the German bankdominated financial system. However, recently the German open-end fund industry came under severe distress which triggered a broad discussion of required regulatory interventions. This paper gives a detailed description of the institutional structure of these funds and of the events that led to the crisis. Furthermore, it applies recent banking theory to open-end real estate funds in order to understand why the open-end fund structure was so prevalent in Germany. Based on these theoretical insights we evaluate the various policy recommendation that have been raised.
- Heterogeneous multiple bank financing under uncertainty: does it reduce inefficient credit decisions? (2005)
- Small and medium-sized firms typically obtain capital via bank financing. They often rely on a mixture of relationship and arm’s-length banking. This paper explores the reasons for the dominance of heterogeneous multiple banking systems. We show that the incidence of inefficient credit termination and subsequent firm liquidation is contingent on the borrower’s quality and on the relationship bank’s information precision. Generally, heterogeneous multiple banking leads to fewer inefficient credit decisions than monopoly relationship lending or homogeneous multiple banking, provided that the relationship bank’s fraction of total firm debt is not too large.
- Privacy or publicity - who drives the wheel? (2003)
- Financial markets are to a very large extent influenced by the advent of information. Such disclosures, however, do not only contain information about fundamentals underlying the markets, but they also serve as a focal point for the beliefs of market participants. This dual role of information gains further importance for explaining the development of asset valuations when taking into account that information may be perceived individually (private information), or may be commonly shared by all traders (public information). This study investigates into the recently developed theoretical structures explaining the operating mechanism of the two types of information and emphasizes the empirical testability and differentiation between the role of private and public information. Concluding from a survey of experimental studies and own econometric analyses, it is argued that most often public information dominates private information. This finding justifies central bankers´ unease when disseminating news to the markets and argues against the recent trend of demanding full transparency both for financial institutions and financial markets themselves. September 2003.
- Incentive schemes, private information and the double-edged role of competition for agents (2014)
- This paper examines the effect of imperfect labor market competition on the efficiency of compensation schemes in a setting with moral hazard, private information and risk-averse agents. Two vertically differentiated firrms compete for agents by offering contracts with fixed and variable payments. Vertical differentiation between firms leads to endogenous, type-dependent exit options for agents. In contrast to screening models with perfect competition, we find that existence of equilibria does not depend on whether the least-cost separating allocation is interim efficient. Rather, vertical differentiation allows the inferior firm to offer (cross-)subsidizing fixed payments even above the interim efficient level. We further show that the efficiency of variable pay depends on the degree of competition for agents: For small degrees of competition, low-ability agents are under-incentivized and exert too little effort. For large degrees of competition, high-ability agents are over-incentivized and bear too much risk. For intermediate degrees of competition, however, contracts are second-best despite private information.
- Performance-sensitive debt - the intertwined effects of performance measurement and pricing grid asymmetry : [This version: September 8, 2014] (2014)
- This paper studies the use of performance pricing (PP) provisions in debt contracts and compares accounting-based with rating-based pricing designs. We find that rating-based provisions are used by volatile-growth borrowers and allow for stronger spread increases over the credit period. Accounting-based provisions are employed by opaque-growth borrowers and stipulate stronger spread reductions. Further, a higher spread-increase potential in rating-based contracts lowers the spread at the loan’s inception and improves the borrower’s performance later on. In contrast, a higher spread-decrease potential in accounting-based contracts lowers the initial spread and raises the borrower’s leverage afterwards. The evidence indicates that rating-based contracts are indeed employed for different reasons than accounting-based contracts: the former to signal a borrower’s quality, the latter to mitigate investment inefficiencies.
- Determinants of banks' engagement in loan securitization (2006)
- This paper provides new insights into the nature of loan securitization. We analyze the use of collateralized loan obligation (CLO) transactions by European banks from 1997 to 2004 andtry to identify the influence that various firm-specific and macroeconomic factors may have on an institution's securitization decision. We find that not only regulatory capital arbitrage under Basel I has been driving the market. Rather, our results suggest that loan securitization is an appropriate funding tool for banks with high risk and low liquidity. It may also have been used by commercial banks to indirectly access investment-bank activities and the associated gains.
- Modelling the role of credit rating agencies : Do they spark off a virtuous circle? (2005)
- In this paper, we propose a model of credit rating agencies using the global games framework to incorporate information and coordination problems. We introduce a refined utility function of a credit rating agency that, additional to reputation maximization, also embeds aspects of competition and feedback effects of the rating on the rated firms. Apart from hinting at explanations for several hypotheses with regard to agencies' optimal rating assessments, our model suggests that the existence of rating agencies may decrease the incidence of multiple equilibria. If investors have discretionary power over the precision of their private information, we can prove that public rating announcements and private information collection are complements rather than substitutes in order to secure uniqueness of equilibrium. In this respect, rating agencies may spark off a virtuous circle that increases the efficiency of the market outcome.