Do Banks Propagate Debt Market Shocks?


Galina Hale

João A. C. Santos

Download PDF
(412 KB)

2010-08 | December 1, 2013

Recent financial crisis demonstrated that the banking system can be a pathway for shock transmission. In this paper, we analyze how banks transmit shocks that hit the debt market to their borrowers. Our paper shows that when banks experience a shock to the cost of their bond financing, they pass a portion of their extra costs or savings to their corporate borrowers. While banks do not offer special protection from bond market shocks to their relationship borrowers, they also do not treat all of them equally. Relationship borrowers that are not bank-dependent are the least exposed to bond market shocks via their bank loans. In contrast, banks pass the highest portion of the increase in their cost of bond financing to their relationship borrowers that rely exclusively on banks for external funding. These findings show that banks put more weight on the informational advantage they have over their relationship borrowers than on the prospects of future business with these borrowers. They also show a potential side effect of the recent proposals to require banks to use CoCos or other long-term funding.

Article Citation

Hale, Galina, and João A. C. Santos. 2010. “Do Banks Propagate Debt Market Shocks?,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2010-08. Available at