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Sticky Leverage: Comment
We revisit the role of long-term nominal corporate debt for the transmission of inflation shocks in the general equilibrium model of Gomes, Jermann, and Schmid (2016, henceforth GJS). We show that inaccuracies in the model solution and calibration strategy lead GJS to a model equilibrium in which nominal long-term debt is systematically mispriced. As a result, the quantitative importance of corporate leverage in the transmission of inflation shocks to real activity in their framework is 6 times larger than what arises under the rational expectations equilibrium.
Distressed Firms and the Large Effects of Monetary Policy Tightenings
The stance of U.S. monetary policy has tightened significantly starting in March 2022. At the same time, the share of firms in financial distress has reached a level that is higher than during most previous tightening episodes since the 1970s.
The Information in Interest Coverage Ratios of the US Nonfinancial Corporate Sector
Using firm-level data, we find significant variability in interest coverage ratios--across firms and economic sectors and across time--that suggests that critical ICR levels depend on firm- or sector-specific economic conditions.
The Potential Increase in Corporate Debt Interest Rate Payments from Changes in the Federal Funds Rate
This note studies the response of interest expenses of U.S. nonfinancial corporations to an increase in interest rates.
U.S. Zombie Firms: How Many and How Consequential?
The unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore concerns that cheap credit could fuel the financing of zombie firms—that is, firms that are unable to generate enough profits to cover debt-servicing costs and that need to borrow to stay alive. Many observers have recently commented that zombie firms may crowd out lending to productive firms and erode the strength of the U.S. economy.
Interest Coverage Ratios: Assessing Vulnerabilities in Nonfinancial Corporate Credit
This note examines whether the ability of nonfinancial corporations to meet their interest expenses out of earnings is a vulnerability for financial stability under current economic conditions. We measure this ability using the interest coverage ratio (ICR)—the ratio of earnings before interest and taxes relative to interest expenses—and project this ratio under different scenarios.