Asset Measurement in Imperfect Credit Markets
30 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2015 Last revised: 6 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 5, 2015
How should a firm measure a productive asset used as collateral in a credit agreement? To answer this question, we develop a model in which firms borrow funds subject to collateral constraints. We characterize the qualities of optimal asset measurements and analyze their interactions with financing needs, collateral constraints and interest rates. Because of real effects, complete transparency would reduce contracting efficiency and, hence, the measurement must be suitably adapted to credit conditions. The optimal measurement is asymmetric and reports precise information about high collateral values if credit frictions are low, but the reverse if credit frictions are high. Tighter credit market conditions may lead to more opaque measurements and increased investment, in the form of inefficient continuations.
Keywords: liquidity, financing, collateral, capital, lending, accounting
JEL Classification: D8, G1, M4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation