Corporate Credit Risk Premia

Corporate Credit Risk Premia

By Rohan Douglas, Antje Berndt, Darrell Duffie, Mark Ferguson
November 25,2017Working Paper No. 3617

We measure credit risk premia, meaning the price for bearing corporate default risk in excess of expected default losses, using Markit CDS and Moody’s Analytics EDF data. We find dramatic variation over time in credit risk premia, with peaks in 2002, during the global financial crisis of 2008-09, and in the second half of 2011. These risk premia comove with economic indicators, even after controlling for variation in expected default losses, with higher premia per unit of expected loss during times of market-wide distress. Countercyclical variation of premia-to-expected-loss ratios is more pronounced for investment-grade issuers than for high-yield issuers.

Keywords
CDS, Credit risk premia, credit ratings