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Working Paper

CECL and the Credit Cycle


Abstract: We find that that the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) standard would slightly dampen fluctuations in bank lending over the economic cycle. In particular, if the CECL standard had always been in place, we estimate that lending would have grown more slowly leading up to the financial crisis and more rapidly afterwards. We arrive at this conclusion by estimating historical allowances under CECL and modeling how the impact on accounting variables would have affected banks' lending and capital distributions. We consider a variety of approaches to address uncertainty regarding the management of bank capital and predictability of credit losses.

Keywords: Current expected credit loss; Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses; Accounting policy;

JEL Classification: E1; E3; G21; G28; M41; M48;

https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2019.061

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Finance and Economics Discussion Series

Publication Date: 2019-08

Number: 2019-061

Pages: 36 pages