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Rollover risk in commercial paper markets and firms' debt maturity choice

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  • Thierfelder, Felix

Abstract

By using short-term direct finance firms of the highest credit quality expose themselves to rollover risk in the public debt markets. Firms insure themselves against this risk by securing backup lines of credit from banks that they may use should market liquidity dry up. In a first step, this paper explains why high quality firms introduce a maturity mismatch into their balance sheets and do not simply use long-term direct finance. It also highlights why banks may be willing to roll over a firm's debt while direct investors may not. In a second step, I extend the model to allow for different levels of firm's publicly observable credit quality. Under plausible assumptions about the cost of bank borrowing the model generates a maturity structure choice broadly consistent with observed financing patterns: Low quality firms issue short-term direct debt, medium quality firms issue long-term direct debt, and high quality firms use short-term direct debt in normal times and bank debt in adverse times. The paper suggests that better publicly available information about firm quality and the moderation of the business cycle over the past decade help to explain the decrease in nonfinancial commercial paper outstanding since the beginning of the decade.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierfelder, Felix, 2008. "Rollover risk in commercial paper markets and firms' debt maturity choice," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2008,05, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:7315
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas, 2000. "Equity, Bonds, and Bank Debt: Capital Structure and Financial Market Equilibrium under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 324-351, April.
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    7. Evan Gatev & Philip E. Strahan, 2006. "Banks' Advantage in Hedging Liquidity Risk: Theory and Evidence from the Commercial Paper Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 867-892, April.
    8. Calomiris, Charles W. & Himmelberg, Charles P. & Wachtel, Paul, 1995. "Commercial paper, corporate finance, and the business cycle: a microeconomic perspective," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 203-250, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rollover risk; Liquidity; Asymmetric Information; Debt maturity;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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