Finance and Economics Discussion Series (FEDS)
Post-crisis Signals in Securitization: Evidence from Auto ABS
We find significant evidence of asymmetric information and signaling in post-crisis offerings in the auto asset-backed securities (ABS) market. Using granular regulatory reporting data, we are able to directly measure private information and quantify its effect on signaling and pricing. We show that lenders "self-finance'' unobservably higher-quality loans by holding these loans for longer periods to signal private information. This signal is priced in initial offerings of auto ABS and accurately predicts ex-post loan performance. We also demonstrate that our results are robust to exogenous shifts in the demand and supply of auto loans. Despite an environment of post-crisis enhanced transparency and securitization standards, signaling may be motivated by inattentive investors and regulations enforcing "no adverse selection'' in constructing ABS.
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