Credit risk transfer in U.S. commercial banks: What changed during the 2007–2009 crisis?
Following the debate on the role of credit risk transfer (CRT) in exacerbating the 2007–2009 crisis, this paper investigates the usage and effects of loan sales, securitization, and credit derivatives in U.S. commercial banks over the last decade, with special emphasis on the financial crisis. We find that in times of severe funding constraints, the need to raise financial resources becomes the principal incentive behind CRT. We document some beneficial effects of CRT on the economy, since the funds released through CRT are subsequently invested by banks to sustain credit supply, also in recession. However, we report higher overall riskiness in banks that engage intensively in loans sales and securitization, which translates into higher default rates during the crisis. Interestingly, the benefits and drawbacks of CRT are much stronger for loan sales and securitization than for credit derivatives.
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