The Effect of a Rating Downgrade on Outstanding Commercial Paper

  • Published: Apr 30, 2012
  • Pages: 39-56
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1994.tb04419.x


Diamond (1991) argues that a firm's reputation determines whether it borrows directly or through an intermediary. We test the Diamond model by examining the quantity response of commercial paper issued by bank holding companies to a rating downgrade. From 1986 to 1991, cumulative abnormal declines averaged 6.69 percent in the first two weeks after the downgrade and 11.05 percent in the subsequent 12 weeks. In contrast to commercial paper issued by bank holding companies, large CDs issued by affiliated banks did not change significantly in the period around a downgrade, suggesting that deposit insurance may have removed market discipline from the CD market.

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