Year of publication
- 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. 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.
- Collateral, default risk, and relationship lending : an empirical study on financial contracting (2000)
- 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. First version: March 12, 1999
- Where do we stand in the theory of finance? : a selective overview with reference to Erich Gutenberg (1998)
- For the past 20 years, financial markets research has concerned itself with issues related to the evaluation and management of financial securities in efficient capital markets and with issues of management control in incomplete markets. The following selective overview focuses on key aspects of the theory and empirical experience of management control under conditions of asymmetric information. The objective is examine the validity of the recently advanced hypothesis on the myths of corporate control. The present overview is based on Gutenberg's position that there exists a discrete corporate interest, as distinct from and separate from the interests of the shareholders or other stakeholders. In the third volume of Grundlagen der BWL: Die Finanzen, published in 1969, this position of Gutenberg's is coupled with an appeal for a so-called financial equilibrium to be maintained. Not until recently have models grounded in capital market theory been developed which also allow for a firm's management to exercise autonomy vis-à-vis its stakeholder. This paper was prepared for the Erich Gutenberg centenary conference on December 12 and 13, 1997 in Cologne.
- Messung individueller Risikoeinstellungen (1997)
- Es werden verschiedene Methoden zur Messung der Risikoeinstellung einzelner Individuen vorgestellt und kritisch diskutiert. Berücksichtigt werden unter anderem Selbsteinschätzungen und experimentell orientierte Verfahren. Die Zusammenstellung wendet sich insbesondere an Wissenschaftler und Praktiker, die nach anwendbaren Verfahren zur Risikoeinstellungsmessung suchen.
- Is relationship lending special? : Evidence from credit-file data in Germany (1998)
- The German financial market is often characterized as a bank-based system with strong bank-customer relationships. The corresponding notion of a housebank is closely related to the theoretical idea of relationship lending. It is the objective of this paper to provide a direct comparison between housebanks and "normal" banks as to their credit policy. Therefore, we analyze a new data set, representing a random sample of borrowers drawn from the credit portfolios of five leading German banks over a period of five years. We use credit-file data rather than industry survey data and, thus, focus the analysis on information that is directly related to actual credit decisions. In particular, we use bank-internal borrower rating data to evaluate borrower quality, and the bank's own assessment of its housebank status to control for information-intensive relationships.
- Performance and market share : evidence from the German mutual fund industry (1997)
- In this paper we analyze the relation between fund performance and market share. Using three performance measures we first establish that significant differences in the risk-adjusted returns of the funds in the sample exist. Thus, investors may react to past fund performance when making their investment decisions. We estimated a model relating past performance to changes in market share and found that past performance has a significant positive effect on market share. The results of a specification test indicate that investors react to risk-adjusted returns rather than to raw returns. This suggests that investors may be more sophisticated than is often assumed. First version - May 1997
- Risk transfer with CDOs (2008)
- Modern bank management comprises both classical lending business and transfer of asset risk to capital markets through securitization. Sound knowledge of the risks involved in securitization transactions is a prerequisite for solid risk management. This paper aims to resolve a part of the opaqueness surrounding credit-risk allocation to tranches that represent claims of different seniority on a reference portfolio. In particular, this paper analyzes the allocation of credit risk to different tranches of a CDO transaction when the underlying asset returns are driven by a common macro factor and an idiosyncratic component. Junior and senior tranches are found to be nearly orthogonal, motivating a search for the whereabout of systematic risk in CDO transactions. We propose a metric for capturing the allocation of systematic risk to tranches. First, in contrast to a widely-held claim, we show that (extreme) tail risk in standard CDO transactions is held by all tranches. While junior tranches take on all types of systematic risk, senior tranches take on almost no non-tail risk. This is in stark contrast to an untranched bond portfolio of the same rating quality, which on average suffers substantial losses for all realizations of the macro factor. Second, given tranching, a shock to the risk of the underlying asset portfolio (e.g. a rise in asset correlation or in mean portfolio loss) has the strongest impact, in relative terms, on the exposure of senior tranche CDO-investors. Our findings can be used to explain major stylized facts observed in credit markets.
- The future of securitization (2008)
- Securitization is a financial innovation that experiences a boom-bust cycle, as many other innovations before. This paper analyzes possible reasons for the breakdown of primary and secondary securitization markets, and argues that misaligned incentives along the value chain are the primary cause of the problems. The illiquidity of asset and interbank markets, in this view, is a market failure derived from ill-designed mechanisms of coordinating financial intermediaries and investors. Thus, illiquidity is closely related to the design of the financial chains. Our policy conclusions emphasize crisis prevention rather than crisis management, and the objective is to restore a “comprehensive incentive alignment”. The toe-hold for strengthening regulation is surprisingly small. First, we emphasize the importance of equity piece retention for the long-term quality of the underlying asset pool. As a consequence, equity piece allocation needs to be publicly known, alleviating market pricing. Second, on a micro level, accountability of managers can be improved by compensation packages aiming at long term incentives, and penalizing policies with destabilizing effects on financial markets. Third, on a macro level, increased transparency relating to effective risk transfer, risk-related management compensation, and credible measurement of rating performance stabilizes the valuation of financial assets and, hence, improves the solvency of financial intermediaries. Fourth, financial intermediaries, whose risk is opaque, may be subjected to higher capital requirements.
- New financial order : recommendations by the Issing Committee ; preparing G-20 – Washington, November 15, 2008 (2009)
- Content New Financial Architecture (Short Version) 1. Purpose of the paper – causes of the crisis 2. Recommendations 2.1. Incentives 2.2. Transparency 2.3. Regulation and Supervision 2.4. International Institutions 3. Concluding remarks Appendix (Full text) A 1. Causes of the crisis A 2. Improving the Framework A 2.1. Incentives A 2.2. Transparency A 2.3. Regulation and Supervision A 2.4. International Institutions A 3. Concluding remarks