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Bankruptcy and the Collateral Channel

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  • Efraim Benmelech
  • Nittai K. Bergman

Abstract

Do bankrupt firms impose negative externalities on their non-bankrupt competitors? We propose and analyze a collateral channel in which a firm's bankruptcy reduces collateral values of other industry participants, thereby increasing the cost of external debt finance industry wide. To identify this collateral channel, we use a novel dataset of secured debt tranches issued by U.S. airlines which includes a detailed description of the underlying assets serving as collateral. Our estimates suggest that industry bankruptcies have a sizeable impact on the cost of debt financing of other industry participants. We discuss how the collateral channel may lead to contagion effects which amplify the business cycle during industry downturns.

Suggested Citation

  • Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2010. "Bankruptcy and the Collateral Channel," NBER Working Papers 15708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15708
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation

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