Benchmarking LGD Discount Rates
42 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2020
Date Written: August 13, 2020
This paper provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of alternative discount rate concepts for computing LGDs using historical bank workout data. It benchmarks five discount rate concepts for workout recovery cash flows to derive observed Loss rates Given Default (LGDs) in terms of economic robustness and empirical implications: contract rate at origination, loan weighted average cost of capital, return on equity, market return on defaulted debt, and market equilibrium return. The paper develops guiding principles for LGD discount rates and argues that the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) and market equilibrium return dominate the popular contract rate method. The empirical analysis of data provided by Global Credit Data (GCD) shows that declining risk-free rates are in part offset by increasing market risk premiums. Common empirical discount rates are between the risk-free rate and the return on equity. The variation of empirical LGDs is moderate for the various discount rate approaches. Furthermore, a simple correction technique for resolution bias is developed and increases observed LGDs for all periods, particularly recent periods.
Keywords: Default, Discount rates, Global Credit Data, LGD, Recovery, Resolution, Systematic risk
JEL Classification: G20, G28, C51
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