Credit Derivatives and Corporate Default Prediction
43 Pages Posted: 12 May 2020 Last revised: 7 Sep 2021
Date Written: August 11, 2021
There have been 128 defaults among U.S. CDS reference entities between 2001 and 2020. Within this sample, the five-year CDS spread is a significant predictor of corporate default in models with equity market covariates and firm attributes. This finding holds for forecast horizons up to 12 months, among financial and non-financial firms, within and without the great financial crisis, and is robust to the inclusion of corporate bond and equity options market information. A decomposition of the CDS spread into liquidity, physical default, and risk premium components shows that most of its predictive power for corporate default comes from the physical default component, both in- and out-of-sample. These results confirm the relevance of information contained in single-name CDS pricing to corporate default prediction.
Keywords: Credit default swap spread, corporate default prediction, physical default, default risk premium, CDS liquidity
JEL Classification: G12, G13, G17, G23, G33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation