Does uncertainty matter for loan charge-offs?
Using a stylized real options model, we show that discretion over the timing of charging off a non-performing loan could be economically justified when collateral values are uncertain and there is a chance of loan recovery. The implied hypothesis of an “uncertainty dependence” aspect in loan charge-offs is empirically tested and validated using a panel of European banks. A welfare-maximizing regulator might want to let banks pursue such discretionary loan charge-off behavior, with the problem of distinguishing it from alternative capital management and income smoothing objectives, while transparency-seeking accounting standards setters would presumably not.
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Volume (Year): 22 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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