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The credit rating process and estimation of transition probabilities: A Bayesian approach

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  • Stefanescu, Catalina
  • Tunaru, Radu
  • Turnbull, Stuart
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    Abstract

    The Basel II Accord requires banks to establish rigorous statistical procedures for the estimation and validation of default and ratings transition probabilities. This raises great technical challenges when sufficient default data are not available, as is the case for low default portfolios. We develop a new model that describes the typical internal credit rating process used by banks. The model captures patterns of obligor heterogeneity and ratings migration dependence through unobserved systematic macroeconomic shocks. We describe a Bayesian hierarchical framework for model calibration from historical rating transition data, and show how the predictive performance of the model can be assessed, even with sparse event data. Finally, we analyze a rating transition data set from Standard and Poor's during 1981-2007. Our results have implications for the current Basel II policy debate on the magnitude of default probabilities assigned to low risk assets.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Empirical Finance.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 216-234

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:16:y:2009:i:2:p:216-234

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jempfin

    Related research

    Keywords: Ratings transitions Bayesian inference Latent factors Markov Chain Monte Carlo;

    References

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    1. Hanson, Samuel & Schuermann, Til, 2006. "Confidence intervals for probabilities of default," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2281-2301, August.
    2. David J. Spiegelhalter & Nicola G. Best & Bradley P. Carlin & Angelika van der Linde, 2002. "Bayesian measures of model complexity and fit," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 64(4), pages 583-639.
    3. Shumway, Tyler, 2001. "Forecasting Bankruptcy More Accurately: A Simple Hazard Model," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 101-24, January.
    4. Patrick Gagliardini, 2005. "Stochastic Migration Models with Application to Corporate Risk," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 3(2), pages 188-226.
    5. Pamela Nickell & William Perraudin & Simone Varotto, 2001. "Stability of ratings transitions," Bank of England working papers 133, Bank of England.
    6. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
    7. Christensen, Jens H.E. & Hansen, Ernst & Lando, David, 2004. "Confidence sets for continuous-time rating transition probabilities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2575-2602, November.
    8. Jafry, Yusuf & Schuermann, Til, 2004. "Measurement, estimation and comparison of credit migration matrices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2603-2639, November.
    9. Anil Bangia & Francis X. Diebold & Til Schuermann, 2000. "Ratings Migration and the Business Cycle, With Application to Credit Portfolio Stress Testing," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-26, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    10. Altman, Edward I. & Rijken, Herbert A., 2004. "How rating agencies achieve rating stability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2679-2714, November.
    11. Carey, Mark & Hrycay, Mark, 2001. "Parameterizing credit risk models with rating data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 197-270, January.
    12. Gordy, Michael B., 2003. "A risk-factor model foundation for ratings-based bank capital rules," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 199-232, July.
    13. Hanson, Samuel G. & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Schuermann, Til, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and credit risk diversification," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 583-612, September.
    14. Frydman, Halina & Schuermann, Til, 2008. "Credit rating dynamics and Markov mixture models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1062-1075, June.
    15. McNeil, Alexander J. & Wendin, Jonathan P., 2007. "Bayesian inference for generalized linear mixed models of portfolio credit risk," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 131-149, March.
    16. Farnsworth, Heber & Li, Tao, 2007. "The Dynamics of Credit Spreads and Ratings Migrations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 595-620, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Dimitris Gavalas & Theodore Syriopoulos, 2014. "Bank Credit Risk Management and Migration Analysis; Conditioning Transition Matrices on the Stage of the Business Cycle," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 151-166, May.
    2. Leow, Mindy & Crook, Jonathan, 2014. "Intensity models and transition probabilities for credit card loan delinquencies," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(2), pages 685-694.
    3. Wozabal, David & Hochreiter, Ronald, 2012. "A coupled Markov chain approach to credit risk modeling," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 403-415.
    4. Hwang, Ruey-Ching & Chung, Huimin & Chu, C.K., 2010. "Predicting issuer credit ratings using a semiparametric method," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 120-137, January.
    5. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Matousek, Roman & Stewart, Chris, 2012. "Ratings assignments: Lessons from international banks," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1593-1606.
    6. Hwang, Ruey-Ching, 2012. "A varying-coefficient default model," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 675-688.
    7. Chateau, John-Peter D., 2009. "Marking-to-model credit and operational risks of loan commitments: A Basel-2 advanced internal ratings-based approach," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 260-270, December.
    8. Chan, Ngai Hang & Wong, Hoi Ying & Zhao, Jing, 2012. "Structural model of credit migration," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 56(11), pages 3477-3490.

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