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What credit market indicators tell us


  • John V. Duca


John Duca shows that interest rate spreads and loan surveys should be interpreted carefully when assessing the availability of credit and its impact on the economy. This is especially true of interest rate spread indicators, some of which reflect prepayment, liquidity, or default risk premiums that have different economic implications. It can be helpful to decompose spreads before drawing economic inferences from the structure of interest rates. Spreads between yields on non-top-grade private-sector bonds and Treasury bonds, in particular, have a large prepayment premium in addition to a time-varying default risk premium. It is also important to recognize that even some decomposed spreads include more than one type of risk premium. In this regard, a widening of some yield spreads that contain a small default risk component, such as the Aaa-Treasury spread, could reflect a rise in prepayment or liquidity risk premiums, whose magnitudes may be hard to identify separately.

Suggested Citation

  • John V. Duca, 1999. "What credit market indicators tell us," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 2-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1999:i:qiii:p:2-13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John V. Duca, 1995. "Credit availability, bank consumer lending, and consumer durables," Working Papers 9514, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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    Cited by:

    1. Duca, John V., 2013. "Did the commercial paper funding facility prevent a Great Depression style money market meltdown?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 747-758.
    2. Zhiwei Zhang, 2002. "Corporate Bond Spreads and the Business Cycle," Staff Working Papers 02-15, Bank of Canada.
    3. de Bondt, Gabe, 2002. "Euro area corporate debt securities market: first empirical evidence," Working Paper Series 0164, European Central Bank.
    4. Annaert, Jan & De Ceuster, Marc & Van Roy, Patrick & Vespro, Cristina, 2013. "What determines Euro area bank CDS spreads?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 444-461.
    5. Barnichon, Regis & Matthes, Christian & Ziegenbein, Alexander, 2016. "Theory Ahead of Measurement? Assessing the Nonlinear Effects of Financial Market Disruptions," Working Paper 16-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    6. Barnichon, Régis & Matthes, Christian & Ziegenbein, Alexander, 2016. "Assessing the Non-Linear Effects of Credit Market Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 11410, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Prakash Kannan, 2010. "Credit Conditions and Recoveries from Recessions Associated with Financial Crises," IMF Working Papers 10/83, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Michael Bleaney & Paul Mizen & Veronica Veleanu, "undated". "Bond Spreads as Predictors of Economic Activity in Eight European Economies," Discussion Papers 12/11, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    9. Craig S. Hakkio & William R. Keeton, 2009. "Financial stress: what is it, how can it be measured, and why does it matter?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-50.
    10. Kannan, Prakash, 2012. "Credit conditions and recoveries from financial crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 930-947.
    11. Gabe de Bondt, 2004. "The balance sheet channel of monetary policy: first empirical evidence for the euro area corporate bond market," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(3), pages 219-228.
    12. Duca, John V., 2014. "What drives the shadow banking system in the short and long run?," Working Papers 1401, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    13. Gilchrist, Simon & Yankov, Vladimir & Zakrajsek, Egon, 2009. "Credit market shocks and economic fluctuations: Evidence from corporate bond and stock markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 471-493, May.
    14. Gross, Marco, 2011. "Corporate bond spreads and real activity in the euro area - Least Angle Regression forecasting and the probability of the recession," Working Paper Series 1286, European Central Bank.
    15. Carlson Mark A & King Thomas & Lewis Kurt, 2011. "Distress in the Financial Sector and Economic Activity," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, June.
    16. Illing, Mark & Liu, Ying, 2006. "Measuring financial stress in a developed country: An application to Canada," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 243-265, October.
    17. Michael Bleaney & Paul Mizen & Veronica Veleanu, 2013. "Bond Spreads and Economic Activity in Eight European Economies," Discussion Papers 2013/09, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    18. Chuderewicz, Russell P., 2002. "Using interest rate uncertainty to predict the paper-bill spread and real output," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 293-312.
    19. Brown, Alessio J. G. & Žarnić, Žiga, 2003. "Explaining the increased German credit spread: The role of supply factors," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 412, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    20. James H. Stock & Mark W.Watson, 2003. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 788-829, September.
    21. Hartmann, Daniel & Kempa, Bernd & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2008. "Economic and financial crises and the predictability of U.S. stock returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 468-480, June.
    22. Mark Illing & Ying Liu, 2003. "An Index of Financial Stress for Canada," Staff Working Papers 03-14, Bank of Canada.

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