Credit Default Swaps and Analyst Optimism
42 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019
Date Written: April 4, 2019
This paper investigates whether and how the initiation of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) trading affects analyst optimism. First, we document that analyst forecasts become less optimistic after the initiation of CDS trading. Second, we find that the dampening effect of CDS on analyst optimism is stronger for firms with negative news and for firms with poorer financial performance or higher leverage, supporting a “correction effect” of CDS on non-strategic optimism. Moreover, we find that CDS also has a “disciplining effect” on strategic optimism that arises from incentives to cultivate relation with management or to please institutional investors. Overall, our evidence shows that the CDS market not only provides important information for analysts, but also alters analysts’ reporting incentives.
Keywords: credit default swaps, analyst forecast, optimism
JEL Classification: G10, G14, G24, M40, M41, M43
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