IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The link between default and recovery rates: effects on the procyclicality of regulatory capital ratios

  • Edward I. Altman

    (New York University - Salomon Center)

  • Andrea Resti

    (University of Bergamo - Department of Mathematics, Statistics)

  • Andrea Sironi

    (Bocconi University)

This paper analyses the impact of various assumptions about the association between aggregate default probabilities and the loss given default on bank loans and corporate bonds, and seeks to empirically explain this critical relationship. Moreover, it simulates the effects of this relationship on the procyclicality of mandatory capital requirements like those proposed in 2001 by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. We present the analysis and results in four distinct sections. The first section examines the literature of the last three decades of the various structural-form, closed-form and other credit risk and portfolio credit value-at-risk (VaR) models and the way they explicitly or implicitly treat the recovery rate variable. Section 2 presents simulation results under three different recovery rate scenarios and examines the impact of these scenarios on the resulting risk measures: our results show a significant increase in both expected an unexpected losses when recovery rates are stochastic and and negatively correlated with default probabilities. In Section 3, we empirically examine the recovery rates on corporate bond defaults, over the period 1982-2000. We attempt to explain recovery rates by specifying a rather straightforward statistical least squares regression model. The central thesis is that aggregate recovery rates are basically a function of supply and demand for the securities. Our econometric univariate and multivariate time series models explain a significant portion of the variance in bond recovery rates aggregated across all seniority and collateral levels. Finally, in Section 4 we analyse how the link between default probability and recovery risk would affect the procyclicality effects of the New Basel Capital Accord, due to be released in 2002. We see that, if banks are let free to use their own estimates of LGD (as in the "advanced" IRB approach), an increase in their sensitivity to economic cycles would follow. Our results have important implications for just about all portfolio credit risk models, for markets which depend on recovery rates as a key variable (eg securitisations, credit derivatives, etc), for the current debate on the revised BIS guidelines for capital requirements on bank credit assets, and for investors in corporate bonds of all credit qualities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full PDF document
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 113.

in new window

Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:113
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centralbahnplatz 2, CH - 4002 Basel
Phone: (41) 61 - 280 80 80
Fax: (41) 61 - 280 91 00
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jarrow, Robert A & Lando, David & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1997. "A Markov Model for the Term Structure of Credit Risk Spreads," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 481-523.
  2. Jarrow, Robert A & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1995. " Pricing Derivatives on Financial Securities Subject to Credit Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 53-85, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:113. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Beslmeisl)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.