- 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.
- Spillover effects among financial institutions: a state-dependent sensitivity value-at-risk approach (2013)
- In this paper, we develop a state-dependent sensitivity value-at-risk (SDSVaR) approach that enables us to quantify the direction, size, and duration of risk spillovers among financial institutions as a function of the state of financial markets (tranquil, normal, and volatile). Within a system of quantile regressions for four sets of major financial institutions (commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds, and insurance companies) we show that while small during normal times, equivalent shocks lead to considerable spillover effects in volatile market periods. Commercial banks and, especially, hedge funds appear to play a major role in the transmission of shocks to other financial institutions. Using daily data, we can trace out the spillover effects over time in a set of impulse response functions and find that they reach their peak after 10 to 15 days.
- Who invests in home equity to exempt wealth from bankruptcy? (2013)
- Homestead exemptions to personal bankruptcy allow households to retain their home equity up to a limit determined at the state level. Households that may experience bankruptcy thus have an incentive to bias their portfolios towards home equity. Using US household data for the period 1996 to 2006, we find that household demand for real estate is relatively high if the marginal investment in home equity is covered by the exemption. The home equity bias is more pronounced for younger households that face more financial uncertainty and therefore have a higher ex ante probability of bankruptcy.
- Trade credit defaults and liquidity provision by firms (2007)
- Using a unique data set on trade credit defaults among French firms, we investigate whether and how trade credit is used to relax financial constraints. We show that firms that face idiosyncratic liquidity shocks are more likely to default on trade credit, especially when the shocks are unexpected, firms have little liquidity, are likely to be credit constrained or are close to their debt capacity. We estimate that credit constrained firms pass more than one fourth of the liquidity shocks they face on to their suppliers down the trade credit chain. The evidence is consistent with the idea that firms provide liquidity insurance to each other and that this mechanism is able to alleviate the consequences of credit constraints. In addition, we show that the chain of defaults stops when it reaches firms that are large, liquid, and have access to financial markets. This suggests that liquidity is allocated from large firms with access to outside finance to small, credit constrained firms through trade credit chains. JEL classification: G30, D92, G20
- Stale information, shocks and volatility (2007)
- We propose a new approach to measuring the effect of unobservable private information or beliefs on volatility. Using high-frequency intraday data, we estimate the volatility effect of a well identified shock on the volatility of the stock returns of large European banks as a function of the quality of available public information about the banks. We hypothesise that, as the publicly available information becomes stale, volatility effects and its persistence should increase, as the private information (beliefs) of investors becomes more important. We find strong support for this idea in the data. We argue that the results have implications for debate surrounding the opacity of banks and the transparency requirements that may be imposed on banks under Pillar III of the New Basel Accord. JEL codes: G21, G14
- Cross-border bank contagion in Europe (2007)
- This paper analyses cross-border contagion in a sample of European banks from January 1994 to January 2003. We use a multinomial logit model to estimate the number of banks in a given country that experience a large shock on the same day (“coexceedances”) as a function of variables measuring common shocks and coexceedances in other countries. Large shocks are measured by the bottom 95th percentile of the distribution of the first difference in the daily distance to default of the bank. We find evidence in favour of significant cross-border contagion. We also find some evidence that since the introduction of the euro cross-border contagion may have increased. The results seem to be very robust to changes in the specification. JEL codes: G21, F36, G15
- Taxes, banks and financial stability (2013)
- In this note, a new concept for a European deposit guarantee scheme is proposed, which takes account of the strong political reservations against a mutualization of the liability for bank deposits. The three-stage model for deposit insurance outlined in the text builds on existing national deposit guarantee schemes, offering loss compensation on a European level and at the same time preventing excessive risk and moral hazard taking by individual banks.
- Is rated debt arm's length? : Evidence from mergers and acquisitions (2011)
- In this paper we challenge the view that corporate bonds are always arm’s length debt. We analyze the effect of bond ratings on the stock price return to acquirers in M&A transactions, which tend to have significant effects on creditor wealth. We find acquirers abnormal returns to be higher if they are unrated, controlling for a wide variety of other effects identified in the literature. Tracing the difference in returns to distinct managerial decisions, we find that, everything else constant, rated firms increase their leverage in takeover transactions by less than their unrated counterparts. Consistent with a significant role for rating agencies, we find monitoring effects to be strongest when acquirer bonds are rated at the borderline between investment grade and junk. Finally, we are able to empirically exclude a large number of alternative explanations for the empirical regularities that we uncover. JEL Classification: G21, G24, G32, G34 Keywords: Acquisitions, Credit Ratings, Mergers and Acquisitions, Arm’s Length Debt, Abnormal Returns
- Banks' financial distress, lending supply and consumption expenditure (2014)
- The paper employs a unique identification strategy that links survey data on household consumption expenditure to bank level data in order to estimate the effects of bank financial distress on consumer credit and consumption expenditures. Specifically, we show that households whose banks were more exposed to funding shocks report significantly lower levels of non-mortgage liabilities compared to a matched sample of households. The reduced access to credit, however, does not result in lower levels of consumption. Instead, we show that households compensate by drawing down liquid assets. Only households without the ability to draw on liquid assets reduce consumption. The results are consistent with consumption smoothing in the face of a temporary adverse lending supply shock. The results contrast with recent evidence on the real effects of finance on firms' investment, where even temporary adverse credit supply shocks are associated with significant real effects.