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The impact of downward rating momentum on credit portfolio risk

  • Güttler, André
  • Raupach, Peter

Rating downgrades are known to make subsequent downgrades more likely. We analyze the impact of this ?downward momentum? on credit portfolio risk. Using S&P ratings from 1996 to 2005, we estimate a transition matrix that is insensitive to and a second matrix that is sensitive to previous downgrades. We then derive differences between the insensitive portfolio Value-at-Risk (VaR) and the momentum-sensitive VaR. We find realistic scenarios where investors who rely on insensitive transition matrices underestimate the VaR by eight percent of the correct value. The result is relevant for risk managers and regulators since banks neglecting the downward rating momentum might hold insufficient capital.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies with number 2008,16.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:7326
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  1. Marshall E. Blume & Felix Lim & A. Craig MacKinlay, . "The Declining Credit Quality of US Corporate Debt: Myth or Reality?," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-98, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Bangia, Anil & Diebold, Francis X. & Kronimus, Andre & Schagen, Christian & Schuermann, Til, 2002. "Ratings migration and the business cycle, with application to credit portfolio stress testing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 445-474, March.
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  10. Mark Carey, 2000. "Dimensions of Credit Risk and Their Relationship to Economic Capital Requirements," NBER Working Papers 7629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mahlmann, Thomas, 2006. "Estimation of rating class transition probabilities with incomplete data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 3235-3256, November.
  12. Christensen, Jens H.E. & Hansen, Ernst & Lando, David, 2004. "Confidence sets for continuous-time rating transition probabilities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2575-2602, November.
  13. Jacobson, Tor & Lindé, Jesper & Roszbach, Kasper, 2003. "Internal Ratings Systems, Implied Credit Risk and the Consistency of Banks’ Risk Classification Policies," Working Paper Series 155, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  14. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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  16. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
  17. Marshall E. Blume & Felix Lim & A. Craig MacKinlay, . "The Declining Credit Quality of US Corporate Debt: Myth or Reality?," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-98, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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