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CDOs and the financial crisis: Credit ratings and fair premia

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  • Wojtowicz, Marcin
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    Abstract

    We study risk and return characteristics of CDOs using the market standard models. We find that fair spreads on CDO tranches are much higher than fair spreads on similarly-rated corporate bonds. Our results imply that credit ratings are not sufficient for pricing, which is surprising given their central role in structured finance markets. This illustrates limitations of the rating methodologies that are solely based on real-world default probabilities or expected losses and do not capture risk premia. We also demonstrate that CDO tranches have large exposure to systematic risk and thus their ratings and prices are likely to decline substantially when credit conditions deteriorate.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 1-13

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:39:y:2014:i:c:p:1-13

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Collateralized debt obligations; Credit ratings; Fair premia; Structured finance; Rating agencies; Financial crisis;

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    References

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    1. Krahnen, Jan Pieter & Wilde, Christian, 2008. "Risk transfer with CDOs," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    2. Jie He & Jun Qian & Philip E. Strahan, 2011. "Credit Ratings and the Evolution of the Mortgage-Backed Securities Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 131-35, May.
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    4. Efraim Benmelech & Jennifer Dlugosz, 2009. "The Alchemy of CDO Credit Ratings," NBER Working Papers 14878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Opp, Christian C. & Opp, Marcus M. & Harris, Milton, 2013. "Rating agencies in the face of regulation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 46-61.
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    9. Günter Franke & Markus Herrmann & Thomas Weber, 2011. "Loss Allocation in Securitization Transactions," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-22, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
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    12. Efraim Benmelech & Jennifer Dlugosz, 2010. "The Credit Rating Crisis," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 161-207 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Antje Berndt & Rohan Douglas & Darrell Duffie & Mark Ferguson, . "Measuring Default Risk Premia from Default Swap Rates and EDFs," GSIA Working Papers 2006-E31, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    14. Richard Stanton & Nancy Wallace, 2011. "The Bear's Lair: Index Credit Default Swaps and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(10), pages 3250-3280.
    15. Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein & Fan Yang, 2012. "On the Relative Pricing of Long-Maturity Index Options and Collateralized Debt Obligations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(6), pages 1983-2014, December.
    16. Joshua Coval & Jakub Jurek & Erik Stafford, 2009. "The Economics of Structured Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 3-25, Winter.
    17. Joshua D. Coval & Jakub W. Jurek & Erik Stafford, 2009. "Economic Catastrophe Bonds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 628-66, June.
    18. Ingo Fender & Nikola Tarashev & Haibin Zhu, 2008. "Credit fundamentals, ratings and value-at-risk: CDOs versus corporate exposures," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
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