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Shareholder bargaining power and the emergence of empty creditors

Author

Listed:
  • Colonnello, Stefano
  • Efing, Matthias
  • Zucchi, Francesca

Abstract

Credit default swaps (CDSs) can create empty creditors who potentially force borrowers into inefficient bankruptcy but also reduce shareholders’ incentives to default strategically. We show theoretically and empirically that the presence and the effects of empty creditors on firm outcomes depend on the distribution of bargaining power among claimholders. If creditors would face powerful shareholders in debt renegotiation, firms are more likely to face the empty creditor problem. The empirical evidence confirms that more CDS insurance is written on firms with strong shareholders and that CDSs increase the bankruptcy risk of these same firms. The ensuing effect on firm value is negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Colonnello, Stefano & Efing, Matthias & Zucchi, Francesca, 2019. "Shareholder bargaining power and the emergence of empty creditors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(2), pages 297-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:134:y:2019:i:2:p:297-317
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2019.04.001
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    Keywords

    Empty creditors; Credit default swaps; Bargaining power; Real effects of financial markets;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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