Withholding Bad News in the Face of Credit Default Swap Trading: Evidence from Stock Price Crash Risk

Jinyu Liu, Jeffrey Ng, Dragon Yongjun Tang, and Rui Zhong

Credit default swaps (CDS) are a major financial innovation related to debt contracting. Because CDS markets facilitate bad news being incorporated into equity prices via cross-market information spillover, CDS availability may curb firms’ information hoarding. We find that CDS trading on a firm’s debt reduces the future stock price crash risk. This effect is stronger in active CDS markets, when the main lenders are CDS market dealers with securities trading subsidiaries, or when managers have more motivation to hoard information. Our findings suggest that debt market financial innovations curtail the negative equity market effects of firms withholding bad news.