Year of publication
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- Collateral, relationship lending and financial distress : an empirical study on financial contracting (2002)
- This paper analyses the role of collateral in loan contracting when companies are financed by multiple bank lenders and relationship lending can be present. We conjecture and empirically validate that relationship lenders, who enjoy an informational advantage over arm’s-length banks, are more senior to strengthen their bargaining power in future renegotiation if borrower’s face financial distress. This deters costly conflicts between lenders and fosters workout decisions by the best informed party. Consistent with our conjecture, we find that relationship lender in general have a higher probability to be collateralized, and a higher degree of collateralization (i.e. seniority). Furthermore, we show that seniority and the status of relationship lending increases the likelihood that a bank invests in a risky workout of distressed borrowers. Both findings support the view that collateral is a strategic instrument intended to influence the bargaining position of banks. Our result further suggest that seniority and relationship lending are complementary to each other. JEL Classification: G21
- Risk transfer with CDOs and systemic risk in banking (2006)
- Large banks often sell part of their loan portfolio in the form of collateralized debt obligations (CDO) to investors. In this paper we raise the question whether credit asset securitization affects the cyclicality (or commonality) of bank equity values. The commonality of bank equity values reflects a major component of systemic risks in the banking market, caused by correlated defaults of loans in the banks' loan books. Our simulations take into account the major stylized fact of CDO transactions, the non-proportional nature of risk sharing that goes along with tranching. We provide a theoretical framework for the risk transfer through securitization that builds on a macro risk factor and an idiosyncratic risk factor, allowing an identification of the types of risk that the individual tranche holders bear. This allows conclusions about the risk positions of issuing banks after risk transfer. Building on the strict subordination of tranches, we first evaluate the correlation properties both within and across risk classes. We then determine the effect of securitization on the systematic risk of all tranches, and derive its effect on the issuing bank's equity beta. The simulation results show that under plausible assumptions concerning bank reinvestment behaviour and capital structure choice, the issuing intermediary's systematic risk tends to rise. We discuss the implications of our findings for financial stability supervision. Klassifikation: G28
- Investment performance and market share : a study of the German mutual fund industry (2006)
- We study a set of German open-end mutual funds for a time period during which this industry emerged from its infancy. In those years, the distribution channel for mutual funds was dominated by the brick-and-mortar retail networks of the large universal banks. Using monthly observations from 12/1986 through 12/1998, we investigate if cross-sectional return differences across mutual funds affect their market shares. Although such a causal relation has been established in highly competitive markets, such as the United States, the rigid distribution system in place in Germany at the time may have caused retail performance and investment performance to uncouple. In fact, although we observe stark differences in investment performance across mutual funds (and over time), we find no evidence that cross-sectional performance differences affect the market shares of these funds. Klassifikation: G 23
- Der Handel von Kreditrisiken : eine neue Dimension des Kapitalmarktes (2005)
- This paper makes an attempt to present the economics of credit securitisation in a non-technical way, starting from the description and the analysis of a typical securitisation transaction. The paper sketches a theoretical explanation for why tranching, or nonproportional risk sharing, which is at the heart of securitisation transactions, may allow commercial banks to maximize their shareholder value. However, the analysis makes also clear that the conditions under which credit securitisation enhances welfare, are fairly restrictive, and require not only an active role of the banking supervisory authorities, but also a price tag on the implicit insurance currently provided by the lender of last resort. JEL Klassifikation: D82, G21, D74.
- Default risk sharing between banks and markets : the contribution of collateralized debt obligations (2005)
- This paper contributes to the economics of financial institutions risk management by exploring how loan securitization a.ects their default risk, their systematic risk, and their stock prices. In a typical CDO transaction a bank retains through a first loss piece a very high proportion of the expected default losses, and transfers only the extreme losses to other market participants. The size of the first loss piece is largely driven by the average default probability of the securitized assets. If the bank sells loans in a true sale transaction, it may use the proceeds to to expand its loan business, thereby incurring more systematic risk. We find an increase of the banks' betas, but no significant stock price e.ect around the announcement of a CDO issue. Our results suggest a role for supervisory requirements in stabilizing the financial system, related to transparency of tranche allocation, and to regulatory treatment of senior tranches. Klassifikation: D82, G21, D74 . February 15, 2005.
- Universal banks and relationships with firms (2003)
- Some of the most widely expressed myths about the German financial system are concerned with the close ties and intensive interaction between banks and firms, often described as Hausbank relationships. Links between banks and firms include direct shareholdings, board representation, and proxy voting and are particularly significant for corporate governance. Allegedly, these relationships promote investment and improve the performance of firms. Furthermore, German universal banks are believed to play a special role as large and informed monitoring investors (shareholders). However, for the very same reasons, German universal banks are frequently accused of abusing their influence on firms by exploiting rents and sustaining the entrenchment of firms against efficient transfers of firm control. In this paper, we review recent empirical evidence regarding the special role of banks for the corporate governance of German firms. We differentiate between large exchangelisted firms and small and medium sized companies throughout. With respect to the role of banks as monitoring investors, the evidence does not unanimously support a special role of banks for large firms. Only one study finds that banks´ control of management goes beyond what nonbank shareholders achieve. Proxyvoting rights apparently do not provide a significant means for banks to exert management control. Most of the recent evidence regarding small firms suggests that a Hausbank relationship can indeed be beneficial. Hausbanks are more willing to sustain financing when borrower quality deteriorates, and they invest more often than arm´s length banks in workouts if borrowers face financial distress. Klassifikation: G21, G32. Revised version forthcoming in "The German Financial System", edited by Jan P. Krahnen and Reinhard H. Schmidt, Oxford University Press. September 2003.
- Multiple lenders and corporate distress : evidence on debt restructuring (2001)
- In the recent theoretical literature on lending risk, the coordination problem in multi-creditor relationships have been analyzed extensively. We address this topic empirically, relying on a unique panel data set that includes detailed credit-file information on distressed lending relationships in Germany. In particular, it includes information on creditor pools, a legal institution aiming at coordinating lender interests in borrower distress. We report three major findings. First, the existence of creditor pools increases the probability of workout success. Second, the results are consistent with coordination costs being positively related to pool size. Third, major determinants of pool formation are found to be the number of banks, the distribution of lending shares, and the severity of the distress shock. Klassifikation: D74, G21, G33, G34
- Information production in credit relationships : on the role of internal ratings in commercial banking (2000)
- This paper discusses the role of internal corporate ratings as a means by which commercial banks condense their informational advantage and preserve it vis-à-vis a competitive lending market. In drawing on a unique data set collected from leading universal banks in Germany, we are able to evaluate the extent to which non-public information determines corporate ratings. As a point of departure, the paper describes a sample of rating systems currently in use, and points at methodological differences between them. Relying on a probit analysis, we are able to show that the set of qualitative, or soft, factors is not simply redundant with respect to publicly available accounting data. Rather, qualitative information tends to be decisive in at least one third of cases. It tends to improve the firms' overall corporate rating. In the case of conflicting rating changes, i.e. when qualitative and quantitative rating changes have opposing signs, quantitative criteria dominate the overall rating change. Furthermore, the more restrictive the weighting scheme as part of the rating methodology is, the stronger is the impact of qualitative information on the firms' overall rating. The implications of our results underline the need to define stringent rating standards, from both a risk management and a regulatory point of view. Klassifikation: G21 . Revised edition published in: ZEW Wirtschaftsanalysen 2001, Bd 54, Baden-Baden, Nomos
- Generally accepted rating principles : a primer (2000)
- Bank internal ratings of corporate clients are intended to quantify the expected likelihood of future borrower defaults. This paper develops a comprehensive framework for evaluating the quality of standard rating systems. We suggest a number of principles that ought to be met by 'good rating practice'. These 'generally accepted rating principles' are potentially relevant for the improvement of existing rating systems. They are also relevant for the development of certification standards for internal rating systems, as currently discussed in a consultative paper issued by the Bank for International Settlement in Basle, entitled 'A new capital adequacy framework'. We would very much appreciate any comments by readers that help to develop these rating standards further. Simply send us an E-mail, or give us a call. Klassifikation: G21
- Collateral, default risk, and relationship lending : an empirical study on financial contracting (1999)
- This paper provides further insights into the nature of relationship lending by analyzing the link between relationship lending, borrower quality and collateral as a key variable in loan contract design. We used a unique data set based on the examination of credit files of five leading German banks, thus relying on information actually used in the process of bank credit decision-making and contract design. In particular, bank internal borrower ratings serve to evaluate borrower quality, and the bank's own assessment of its housebank status serves to identify information-intensive relationships. Additionally, we used data on workout activities for borrowers facing financial distress. We found no significant correlation between ex ante borrower quality and the incidence or degree of collateralization. Our results indicate that the use of collateral in loan contract design is mainly driven by aspects of relationship lending and renegotiations. We found that relationship lenders or housebanks do require more collateral from their debtors, thereby increasing the borrower's lock-in and strengthening the banks' bargaining power in future renegotiation situations. This result is strongly supported by our analysis of the correlation between ex post risk, collateral and relationship lending since housebanks do more frequently engage in workout activities for distressed borrowers, and collateralization increases workout probability. Klassifikation: G21. First version: March 12, 1999