When does strategic debt service matter?

Acharya, V et al (2002) When does strategic debt service matter? Working Paper. London Business School IFA Working Paper.


Recent work has suggested that strategic underperformance of debtservice obligations by equity holders can resolve the gap between observed yield spreads and those generated by Merton (41)style models. We shos that this is not quite correct. The value of the option to underperform on debtservice obligations depends on two other optionalities available to equity holders, namely, the option to carry reserves within the firm and the option to raise new external funding. We disentangle the effects of the three factors, and characterize the impact of each in isolation as well as their interaction. We find, among other things, that while strategic behavior can increase spreads significantly under some conditions, its impact is negligible in others, and in some cases it even leads to a decline in equilibrium spreads. We show that this last apparently paradoxical result is a consequence of an interaction of optionalities that results in a tradeoff between strategic and liquiditydriven defaults.

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Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Subject Areas: Finance
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2023 15:12
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 14:04
URI: https://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/3254

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