Credit Risk Premia and Intermediaries Leverage
61 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2021
Date Written: May 20, 2018
We study credit risk premia of large international banks. Credit risk premium is defined as the credit spread net of an estimate of default risk. Our findings are threefold: (1) we show that credit risk premium accounts for two-thirds of the total price of default risk since the financial crisis, (2) this premium had been negative until just before the financial crisis but then rose dramatically and remained rather high until just recently, and (3) we document that risk-bearing capacity of the bank drives the risk premium in the credit market. That is, investors in the credit market require a premium for bearing risk due to the leverage growth of the bank. These findings are consistent with the theories that relate the risk premia to the health of the financial sector. Furthermore, potential risk factors related to the bank, default swap market, macroeconomic condition, and regulatory environment cannot eliminate the premium earned by the leverage.
Keywords: Credit Spreads, Credit Risk Premia, Leverage, Intermediaries Risk Bearing Capacity
JEL Classification: C32, G01, G21, G28, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation