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Credit cycles and macro fundamentals

  • Koopman, Siem Jan
  • Kräussl, Roman
  • Lucas, André

We study the relation between the credit cycle and macro economic fundamentals in an intensity based framework. Using rating transition and default data of U.S. corporates from Standard and Poor’s over the period 1980–2005 we directly estimate the credit cycle from the micro rating data. We relate this cycle to the business cycle, bank lending conditions, and financial market variables. In line with earlier studies, these variables appear to explain part of the credit cycle. As our main contribution, we test for the correct dynamic specification of these models. In all cases, the hypothesis of correct dynamic specification is strongly rejected. Moreover, accounting for dynamic mis-specification, many of the variables thought to explain the credit cycle, turn out to be insignificant. The main exceptions are GDP growth, and to some extent stock returns and stock return volatilities. Their economic significance appears low, however. This raises the puzzle of what macro-economic fundamentals explain default and rating dynamics

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Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2006/33.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200633
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  1. Darrel Duffie & Leandro Saita & Ke Wang, 2005. "Multi-Period Corporate Default Prediction With Stochastic Covariates," CARF F-Series CARF-F-047, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  2. 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.
  3. Roman Kraeussl, 2003. "Sovereign Credit Ratings and Their Impact on Recent Financial Crises," Working Papers 0313, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  4. Stock, J.H. & Watson, M.W., 1989. "New Indexes Of Coincident And Leading Economic Indicators," Papers 178d, Harvard - J.F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Nickell, Pamela & Perraudin, William & Varotto, Simone, 2000. "Stability of rating transitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 203-227, January.
  6. Siem Jan Koopman & Andr� Lucas, 2003. "Business and Default Cycles for Credit Risk," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-062/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 09 Jan 2003.
  7. Durbin, James & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2001. "Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198523543, July.
  8. André Lucas & Pieter Klaassen, 2003. "Discrete versus Continuous State Switching Models for Portfolio Credit Risk," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-075/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 30 Sep 2003.
  9. Siem Jan Koopman & Andr� Lucas & Andr� Monteiro, 2005. "The Multi-State Latent Factor Intensity Model for Credit Rating Transitions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-071/4, Tinbergen Institute, revised 04 Jul 2005.
  10. Anil Bangia & Francis X. Diebold & Til Schuermann, 2000. "Ratings Migration and the Business Cycle, With Application to Credit Portfolio Stress Testing," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-26, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  11. Lucas, André & Klaassen, Pieter & Spreij, Peter, 1999. "An analytic approach to credit risk of large corporate bond and loan portfolios," Serie Research Memoranda 0018, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  12. 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.
  13. Philipp J. Schönbucher, 2000. "Factor Models for Portofolio Credit Risk," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse16_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
  14. Fama, Eugene F., 1986. "Term premiums and default premiums in money markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 175-196, September.
  15. Ferri, Giovanni & Liu, Li-Gang & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2001. "The role of rating agency assessments in less developed countries: Impact of the proposed Basel guidelines," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 115-148, January.
  16. Carling, Kenneth & Jacobson, Tor & Linde, Jesper & Roszbach, Kasper, 2007. "Corporate credit risk modeling and the macroeconomy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 845-868, March.
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