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The Chrysler effect : the impact of the Chrysler bailout on borrowing costs

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  • Anginer, Deniz
  • Warburton, A. Joseph

Abstract

Did the U.S. government's intervention in the Chrysler reorganization overturn bankruptcy law? Critics argue that the government-sponsored reorganization impermissibly elevated claims of the auto union over those of Chrysler's other creditors. If the critics are correct, businesses might suffer an increase in their cost of debt because creditors will perceive a new risk, that organized labor might leap-frog them in bankruptcy. This paper examines the financial market wherethis effect would be most detectible, the market for bonds of highly unionized companies. The authors find no evidence of a negative reaction to the Chrysler bailout by bondholders of unionized firms. They thus reject the notion that investors perceived a distortion of bankruptcy priorities. To the contrary, bondholders of unionized firms reacted positively to the Chrysler bailout. This evidence suggests that bondholders interpreted the Chrysler bailout as a signal that the government will stand behind unionized firms. The results are consistent with the notion that too-big-to-fail government policies generate moral hazard in the credit markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5462.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5462

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Keywords: Debt Markets; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress; Emerging Markets; Deposit Insurance; Access to Finance;

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  1. Gregory R. Duffee, 1996. "Estimating the price of default risk," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Doron Avramov & Tarun Chordia & Gergana Jostova & Alexander Philipov, 2007. "Momentum and Credit Rating," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2503-2520, October.
  3. Szilagyi, Jan & Hilscher, Jens & Campbell, John, 2008. "In Search of Distress Risk," Scholarly Articles 3199070, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Hirsch, Barry T, 1991. "Union Coverage and Profitability among U.S. Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 69-77, February.
  5. Anginer, Deniz & Yildizhan, Celim, 2010. "Is there a distress risk anomaly ? pricing of systematic default risk in the cross section of equity returns," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5319, The World Bank.
  6. MARA FACCIO & RONALD W. MASULIS & JOHN J. McCONNELL, 2006. "Political Connections and Corporate Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2597-2635, December.
  7. Chen, Huafeng Jason & Kacperczyk, Marcin & Ortiz-Molina, Hernán, 2011. "Labor Unions, Operating Flexibility, and the Cost of Equity," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 25-58, March.
  8. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2010. "Are banks too big to fail or too big to save ? International evidence from equity prices and CDS spreads," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5360, The World Bank.
  9. Bessembinder, Hendrik & Panayides, Marios & Venkataraman, Kumar, 2009. "Hidden liquidity: An analysis of order exposure strategies in electronic stock markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 361-383, December.
  10. Huafeng (JASON) Chen & Marcin Kacperczyk & Hernán Ortiz-Molina, 2011. "Do Nonfinancial Stakeholders Affect the Pricing of Risky Debt? Evidence from Unionized Workers," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 16(2), pages 347-383.
  11. Abowd, John M, 1989. "The Effect of Wage Bargains on the Stock Market Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 774-800, September.
  12. Donald P. Morgan & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2005. "Too big to fail after all these years," Staff Reports 220, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Connolly, Robert A & Hirsch, Barry T & Hirschey, Mark, 1986. "Union Rent Seeking, Intangible Capital, and Market Value of the Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 567-77, November.
  14. Bessembinder, Hendrik & Maxwell, William & Venkataraman, Kumar, 2006. "Market transparency, liquidity externalities, and institutional trading costs in corporate bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 251-288, November.
  15. Penas, Maria Fabiana & Unal, Haluk, 2004. "Gains in bank mergers: Evidence from the bond markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 149-179, October.
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