Macroeconomic Dynamics and Credit Risk: A Global Perspective

This paper presents a new approach to modeling conditional credit loss distributions. Asset value changes of firms in a credit portfolio are linked to a dynamic global macroeconometric model, allowing macroeffects to be isolated from idiosyncratic shocks from the perspective of default (and hence loss). Default probabilities are driven primarily by how firms are tied to business cycles, both domestic and foreign, and how business cycles are linked across countries. We allow for firm-specific business cycle effects and the heterogeneity of firm default thresholds using credit ratings. The model can be used, for example, to compute the effects of a hypothetical negative equity price shock in South East Asia on the loss distribution of a credit portfolio with global exposures over one or more quarters. We show that the effects of such shocks on losses are asymmetric and nonproportional, reflecting the highly nonlinear nature of the credit risk model.