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Monetary policy and corporate default

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  • Bhamra, Harjoat S.
  • Fisher, Adlai J.
  • Kuehn, Lars-Alexander

Abstract

When a corporation issues debt with a fixed nominal coupon, the real value of future payments decreases with the price level. Forward-looking corporate default decisions therefore depend on monetary policy through its impact on expected inflation. We build a general equilibrium economy with deadweight bankruptcy costs that demonstrates how nominal rigidities in corporate debt create an important role for monetary policy even in the absence of standard nominal frictions such as staggered price setting in the output market. Under a passive nominal interest rate peg, the direct effects of a negative productivity shock combine with deflation to produce strong incentives for corporate default. A debt-deflationary spiral results when there are real costs of financial distress. Inflation targeting eliminates this amplification mechanism but full inflation targeting requires permitting the nominal interest rate to depend explicitly on credit market conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhamra, Harjoat S. & Fisher, Adlai J. & Kuehn, Lars-Alexander, 2011. "Monetary policy and corporate default," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(5), pages 480-494.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:58:y:2011:i:5:p:480-494
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2011.05.010
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    Cited by:

    1. Li, Erica X.N. & Palomino, Francisco, 2014. "Nominal rigidities, asset returns, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 210-225.
    2. Georges Dionne & Olfa Maalaoui Chun, 2013. "Default and liquidity regimes in the bond market during the 2002-2012 period," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1160-1195, November.
    3. Paul De Grauwe & Eddie Gerba, 2017. "Monetary transmission under competing corporate finance regimes," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 35(82), pages 46-55, April.
    4. Paul De Grauwe & Eddie Gerba, 2017. "Monetary transmission under competing corporate finance regimes," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 35(82), pages 78-100, April.
    5. Francesco D'Acunto & Ryan Liu & Carolin Pflueger & Michael Weber, 2017. "Flexible Prices and Leverage," CESifo Working Paper Series 6317, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Challe, Edouard & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2014. "Stock prices and monetary policy shocks: A general equilibrium approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 46-66.
    7. Maalaoui Chun, Olfa & Dionne, Georges & François, Pascal, 2014. "Credit spread changes within switching regimes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 41-55.
    8. de Grauwe, Paul & Gerba, Eddie, 2017. "Monetary transmission under competing corporate finance regimes = Transmisión monetaria bajo regímenes alternativos de finanzas corporativas," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67658, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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