The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach & Education function engages, empowers and educates the public in the Second District. Our outreach mission furthers the Bank’s commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and developing programs, analysis and sponsored conferences and clinics to help meet their needs. Our education mission aims to advance public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System and its role in the economy.
When Is There a Strong Transfer Risk from the Sovereigns to the Corporates? Property Rights Gaps and CDS Spreads
October 2012 Number 579
JEL classification: G15, G38
Jennie Bai and
When a sovereign faces the risk of debt default, it may be tempted to expropriate the private sector. This may be one reason why international investment in private companies has to take into account the sovereign risk. But the likelihood of sovereign risk transferring to corporates and increasing their risk of default may be mitigated by legal institutions that provide strong property rights protection. Using a novel credit default swaps (CDS) data set covering government and corporate entities across thirty countries, we study both the average strength of the transfer risks and the role of institutions in mitigating such risks. We find that 1) sovereign risk on average has a statistically and economically significant influence on corporate credit risks (all else equal, a 100 basis point increase in the sovereign CDS spread leads to an increase in corporate CDS spreads of 71 basis points); 2) the sovereign-corporate relation varies across corporations, with state-owned companies exhibiting a stronger relation with the sovereign; and 3) the presence of strong property rights institutions, however, tends to weaken the connection. In contrast, contracting institutions (offering protection of creditor rights or minority shareholder rights) do not appear to matter much in this context.