Secured Credit Spreads

48 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2020

See all articles by Efraim Benmelech

Efraim Benmelech

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nitish Kumar

University of Florida

Raghuram G. Rajan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; International Monetary Fund (IMF); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 19, 2020

Abstract

Lenders are unwilling to accept lower credit spreads for secured debt relative to unsecured debt when a firm is healthy. However, they accept significantly lower credit spreads for secured debt when a firm’s credit quality deteriorates, the economy slows, or average credit spreads widen. This contingent valuation of collateral or security, coupled with the borrower perceiving a loss of operational and financial flexibility when issuing secured debt, may explain why firms issue secured debt on a contingent basis; they issue more when their credit quality deteriorates, the economy slows, and average credit spreads widen.

Keywords: Secured Debt, Credit Spreads, Business Cycle, Distress

JEL Classification: G12, G21, G32

Suggested Citation

Benmelech, Efraim and Kumar, Nitish and Rajan, Raghuram G., Secured Credit Spreads (February 19, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3541281 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3541281

Efraim Benmelech

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

Evanston, IL 60208
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nitish Kumar (Contact Author)

University of Florida ( email )

Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

Raghuram G. Rajan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-4437 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
773-702-9299 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

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