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Recovery rates, default probabilities and the credit cycle

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  • Bruche, Max
  • Gonzalez-Aguado, Carlos

Abstract

Recovery rates are negatively related to default probabilities (Altman et al., 2005). This paper proposes and estimates a model in which this dependence is the result of an unobserved credit cycle: When times are bad, the default probability is high and recovery rates are low; when times are good, the default probability is low and recovery rates are high. The proposed dynamic model is shown to produce a better fit to the data than a standard static approach. It indicates that ignoring the dynamic nature of credit risk could lead to a severe underestimation of credit risk (e.g. by a factor of up to 1.7 in terms of the 95% VaR). Also, the model indicates that the credit cycle is related to but distinct from the business cycle as e.g. determined by the NBER, which might explain why previous studies have found the power of macroeconomic variables in explaining default probabilities and recoveries to be low.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruche, Max & Gonzalez-Aguado, Carlos, 2006. "Recovery rates, default probabilities and the credit cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24524, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:24524
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24524/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carling, Kenneth & Jacobson, Tor & Linde, Jesper & Roszbach, Kasper, 2007. "Corporate credit risk modeling and the macroeconomy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 845-868, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit; Recovery rate; Default probability; Business cycle; Capital requirements; Markov chain;

    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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