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The impact of downward rating momentum on credit portfolio risk

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  • Güttler, André
  • Raupach, Peter

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Güttler, André & Raupach, Peter, 2008. "The impact of downward rating momentum on credit portfolio risk," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2008,16, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:7326
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    6. Marshall E. Blume & Felix Lim & A. Craig Mackinlay, 1998. "The Declining Credit Quality of U.S. Corporate Debt: Myth or Reality?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1389-1413, August.
    7. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-470, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Marshall E. Blume & Felix Lim & A. Craig MacKinlay, "undated". "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.
    10. Jacobson, Tor & Linde, Jesper & Roszbach, Kasper, 2006. "Internal ratings systems, implied credit risk and the consistency of banks' risk classification policies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1899-1926, July.
    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. Hanson, Samuel & Schuermann, Til, 2006. "Confidence intervals for probabilities of default," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2281-2301, August.
    13. Krüger, Ulrich & Stötzel, Martin & Trück, Stefan, 2005. "Time series properties of a rating system based on financial ratios," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2005,14, Deutsche Bundesbank.
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    15. repec:fth:pennfi:67 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Welfens, 2010. "Transatlantic banking crisis: analysis, rating, policy issues," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 3-48, May.
    2. Paul J.J Welfens, 2010. "Rating, Kapitalmarktsignale und Risikomanagement: Reformansätze nach der Transatlantischen Bankenkrise," EIIW Discussion paper disbei175, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rating drift; Downward momentum; Credit portfolio risk; Value-at-Risk;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies

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