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The Effect of Monetary Policy on Credit Spreads

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  • Badye Essid

    (HEC Montreal)

  • Tolga Cenesizoglu

    (HEC Montreal)

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    Abstract

    In this paper, we analyze the effect of monetary policy on credit spreads between yields on corporate bonds with different ratings over changing conditions in the economy. Using futures data on the fed funds rate, we distinguish between expected and unexpected changes in monetary policy. We find that unexpected changes in the fed funds rate do not have a significant effect on changes in credit spreads when we do not control for different conditions in the economy. We then distinguish between three different cycles in the economy: business, credit and monetary policy cycles. In line with predictions of imperfect capital market theories, credit spreads widen following an unexpected monetary policy tightening during bad times. On the other hand, credit spreads narrow following an unexpected monetary policy tightening during good times. We argue that this inverse relation is mainly due to the positive effect of unexpected monetary policy tightening on investors’ expectations about the future of the economy during good times. Several robustness tests suggest that our results are not due to possible endogeneity problems, lack of control variables or identification methodology for different cycles.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 1139.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:1139

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    1. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    2. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H. & Wang, Shing-Yi B. & Wright, Jonathan H., 2007. "The high-frequency response of exchange rates and interest rates to macroeconomic announcements," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1051-1068, May.
    3. Georges Dionne & Geneviève Gauthier & Khemais Hammami & Mathieu Maurice & Jean-Guy Simonato, 2007. "A Reduced Form Model of Default Spreads with Markov Switching Macroeconomic Factors," Cahiers de recherche 0741, CIRPEE.
    4. David Beckworth & Kenneth Moon & J. Holland Toles, 2010. "Monetary policy and corporate bond yield spreads," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(12), pages 1139-1144.
    5. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2009. "Credit Spreads and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 0910-01, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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    7. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2002. "Market-based measures of monetary policy expectations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Albert Lee Chun, 2011. "Expectations, Bond Yields, and Monetary Policy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(1), pages 208-247.
    9. Berument, Hakan & Froyen, Richard T., 2006. "Monetary policy and long-term US interest rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 737-751, December.
    10. Georges Dionne & Pascal François & Olfa Maalaoui Chun, 2009. "Detecting Regime Shifts in Corporate Credit Spreads," Cahiers de recherche 0929, CIRPEE.
    11. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
    12. Meredith Beechey, 2006. "A closer look at the sensitivity puzzle: the sensitivity of expected future short rates and term premia to macroeconomic news," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    14. Chauvet, Marcelle & Piger, Jeremy, 2008. "A Comparison of the Real-Time Performance of Business Cycle Dating Methods," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 42-49, January.
    15. Demiralp, Selva & Jorda, Oscar, 2004. "The Response of Term Rates to Fed Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 387-405, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Georges Dionne & Geneviève Gauthier & Khemais Hammami & Mathieu Maurice & Jean-Guy Simonato, 2007. "A Reduced Form Model of Default Spreads with Markov Switching Macroeconomic Factors," Cahiers de recherche 0741, CIRPEE.

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