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The Design of Bank Loan Contracts, Collateral, and Renegotiation

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  • Gary Gorton
  • James A. Kahn

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that banks playa unique role in the savings-investment process, affecting firms' cost of capital and the level of investment. We argue that bank uniqueness is related to how the design of bank loan contracts allows banks to affect borrowers' choice of project risk. Unlike corporate bonds, bank loans are typically secured senior debt which contain embedded options allowing the bank to "call" the loan. The option allows the bank tv control borrowers' risk-taking activity via renegotiation of the loan. We analyze the renegotiation outcomes and show that: (1) debt forgiveness occurs; (2) monitoring by the bank is not always successful in preventing the borrower from increasing risk; (3) renegotiated interest rates are not monotonic in borrower type; (4) inefficient liquidation can occur. In renegotiation seniority and collateral are crucial because they allow the bank to threaten the borrower and liquidate inefficient projects. We show that when a prepayment option is included in the bank loan contract, bank debt is more valuable (ex ante) to borrowing firms than corporate debt; it lowers the cost of capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Gorton & James A. Kahn, 1993. "The Design of Bank Loan Contracts, Collateral, and Renegotiation," NBER Working Papers 4273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4273 Note: CF
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven Ongena, 1999. "Lending Relationships, Bank Default and Economic Activity," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 257-280.
    2. Birchler, Urs W, 2000. "Bankruptcy Priority for Bank Deposits: A Contract Theoretic Explanation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 813-840.
    3. Martin, Xiumin & Roychowdhury, Sugata, 2015. "Do financial market developments influence accounting practices? Credit default swaps and borrowers׳ reporting conservatism," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 80-104.
    4. Arnoud W.A. Boot & Matej Marinč, 2012. "Financial Innovations, Marketability and Stability in Banking," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on International Banking and Governance, chapter 22 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Maudos, Joaquin & Pérez, Francisco & Quesada, Javier, 2005. "Do banks discriminate sectoral real investment?," MPRA Paper 15868, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2005.
    6. Preece, Dianna & Mullineaux, Donald J., 1996. "Monitoring, loan renegotiability, and firm value: The role of lending syndicates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 577-593, April.
    7. Gorton, Gary & Schmid, Frank A., 2000. "Universal banking and the performance of German firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 29-80.
    8. Asea, Patrick K. & Blomberg, Brock, 1998. "Lending cycles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 89-128.
    9. de Jong, A., 2004. "It Takes Two To Tango: an empirical tale of distressed firms and assisting banks," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2004-049-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    10. C. Conigliani & G. Ferri & A. Generale, 1997. "The impact of the bank-firm relations on the propagation of monetary policy squeezes: an empirical assessment for Italy," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 50(202), pages 271-299.
    11. Hind Sami, 2005. "Financial Distress and Reputational Concerns," Working Papers 0509, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    12. Machauer, Achim & Weber, Martin, 1998. "Bank behavior based on internal credit ratings of borrowers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1355-1383, October.
    13. Carlos Arriaga & Luis Miranda, 2009. "Risk and Efficiency in Credit Concession: A Case Study in Portugal," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 7(3), pages 307-326.
    14. N. Berger, Allen & F. Udell, Gregory, 1998. "The economics of small business finance: The roles of private equity and debt markets in the financial growth cycle," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 613-673, August.
    15. Elsas, Ralf & Krahnen, Jan Pieter, 1998. "Is relationship lending special? Evidence from credit-file data in Germany," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1283-1316, October.
    16. Couwenberg, Oscar & de Jong, Abe, 2006. "It takes two to tango: An empirical tale of distressed firms and assisting banks," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 429-454, December.
    17. Sanjay Banerji & Andrew Chen & Sumon Mazumdar, 2002. "Universal Banking Under Bilateral Information Asymmetry," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 22(3), pages 169-187, December.
    18. Catherine Refait, 2005. "Soutien financier ou mise en faillite de l'entreprise? Comprendre la décision de la banque," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie, revues.org, vol. 8(1), pages 131-157, March.
    19. Thakor, Anjan V. & Furlong Wilson, Patricia, 1995. "Capital requirements, loan renegotiation and the borrower's choice of financing source," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 693-711, June.
    20. Andreas Dietrich, 2012. "Explaining loan rate differentials between small and large companies: evidence from Switzerland," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 481-494, May.
    21. Ingrid Groessl & Nadine Levratto, 2004. "Problems of Evaluating Small Firms’ Quality as a Reason for Unfavourable Loan Conditions," Finance 0406014, EconWPA.
    22. Cheng Keat Tang & Masaki Mori & Seow Eng Ong & Joseph T. L. Ooi, 2016. "Debt Raising and Refinancing by Japanese REITs: Information Content in a Credit Crunch," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 141-161, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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