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The contagion effect of default risk insurer downgrades: The impact on insured municipal bonds

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  • Brune, Chris
  • Liu, Pu
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    Abstract

    Municipal bonds are often insured by insurance companies that promise to pay investors in the event of default on the part of the issuer. However, just as the financial strength of the insurer can provide assurance to investors, questions about insurer stability may heighten investor concerns. This paper considers three major downgrades to large municipal bond insurers and the effects of each downgrade on a large sample of municipal bonds. Results reveal the effects to be widespread: not only are risk premiums on bonds insured by the downgraded insurer affected, but so are those on bonds insured by other insurance companies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economics and Business.

    Volume (Year): 63 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 492-502

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jebusi:v:63:y:2011:i:5:p:492-502

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Municipal bonds Municipal bond insurance Risk premium Contagion;

    References

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    1. Crabbe, Leland & Post, Mitchell A, 1994. " The Effect of a Rating Downgrade on Outstanding Commercial Paper," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 39-56, March.
    2. Donald P. Morgan, 2002. "Rating Banks: Risk and Uncertainty in an Opaque Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 874-888, September.
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    7. Robert C. Merton & André Perold, 1993. "Theory Of Risk Capital In Financial Firms," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 6(3), pages 16-32.
    8. Vikram Nanda & Rajdeep Singh, 2004. "Bond Insurance: What Is Special About Munis?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2253-2280, October.
    9. Goh, Jeremy C & Ederington, Louis H, 1993. " Is a Bond Rating Downgrade Bad News, Good News, or No News for Stockholders?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 2001-08, December.
    10. Barrett, W Brian & Heuson, Andrea J & Kolb, Robert W, 1986. " The Effect of Three Mile Island on Utility Bond Risk Premia: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(1), pages 255-61, March.
    11. Kidwell, David S. & Sorensen, Eric H. & Wachowicz, John M., 1987. "Estimating the Signaling Benefits of Debt Insurance: The Case of Municipal Bonds," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(03), pages 299-313, September.
    12. Timothy Q. Cook, 1982. "Determinants of individual tax-exempt bond yields : a survey of the evidence," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue May, pages 14-39.
    13. Epermanis, Karen & Harrington, Scott E., 2006. "Market Discipline in Property/Casualty Insurance: Evidence from Premium Growth Surrounding Changes in Financial Strength Ratings," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 1515-1544, September.
    14. Ingram, Robert W & Brooks, Leroy D & Copeland, Ronald M, 1983. " The Information Content of Municipal Bond Rating Changes: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 997-1003, June.
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