A Survey of Cyclical Effects in Credit Risk Measurement Models
by Linda Allen of the University of New York, and
Introduction: It has long been recognized that banking is a procyclical business. That is, banks tend to contract their lending activity when business turns down because of their concern about loan quality and repayment probability. This exacerbates the economic downturn as credit constrained businesses and individuals cut back on their real investment activity. In contrast, banks expand their lending activity during boom periods, thereby contributing to a possible overheating of the economy that may transform an economic expansion into an inflationary spiral.