Adverse Selection Dynamics in Privately-Produced Safe Debt Markets
60 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020 Last revised: 21 Jul 2023
Date Written: October 2020
Privately-produced safe debt is designed so that there is no adverse selection in trade. This is because no agent finds it profitable to produce private information about the debt’s backing and all agents know this (i.e., it is information-insensitive). But in some macro states, it becomes profitable for some agents to produce private information, and then the debt faces adverse selection when traded (i.e., it becomes information-sensitive). We empirically study these adverse selection dynamics in a very important asset class, collateralized loan obligations, a large symbiotic appendage of the regulated banking system, which finances loans to below investment-grade firms.
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