2018

Analyzing the period 1988--2006, we document that banks that are active in strong housing markets increase mortgage lending and decrease commercial lending. Firms that borrow from these banks have significantly lower investment. This is especially pronounced for firms that are more capital constrained or borrow from more-constrained banks. Various extensions and robustness analyses are consistent with the interpretation that commercial loans were crowded out by banks responding to profitable opportunities in mortgage lending, rather than with a demand-based interpretation. The results suggest that housing prices appreciations have negative spillovers to the real economy, which were overlooked thus far.

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2017

We study the diffusion of techniques designed to identify causal relationships in corporate finance research. We estimate the diffusion started in the mid-nineties, lags twenty years compared to economics, and is now used in the majority of corporate finance articles. Consistent with recent theories of technology diffusion, the adoption varies across researchers based on individuals' expected net benefits of adoption. Younger scholars, holders of PhDs in economics, and those working at top institutions adopt faster. Adoption is accelerated through networks of colleagues and alumnis and is also facilitated by straddlers who cross-over from economics to finance. Our findings highlight new forces that explain the diffusion of innovation and shape the norms of academic research.

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This paper constructs and analyzes various measures of trading costs in US equity markets covering theperiod 1926–2015. These measures contain statistically and economically significant predictive signals forstock market returns and real economic activity. We decompose illiquidity proxies into a component capturing aggregate volatility and a residual. The predictive content of these components differs in important ways. Specifically, we find strong evidence that the component of illiquidity uncorrelated with volatility forecasts stock market returns. Both the volatility and residual components of illiquidity contain information regarding future economic activity.

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We use a multitude of tax reforms across OECD countries as natural experiments to estimate the market value of the tax benefits of debt financing. We report time-series evidence that tax reforms are followed by large changes in the value of corporate equity. However, the impact of tax reforms is greatly mitigated by thepresence of leverage. The value of debt tax savings is greater among top tax payers, highly profitable firms, and in countries where tax laws are more strongly enforced. Importantly, the value of debt tax savings is in line with the benchmark implied by a traditional approach.

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In September 2015, the crowdfunding site Kickstarter announced that it would adopt a new corporate form, that of a benefit corporation. Kickstarter is far from alone in this decision; in fact, it joined a growing list of tech firms that are moving toward adopting a benefit corporation designation. The result of the legal movement is that corporate governance across the nation may be changing, impacting everything from business ethics training to board decision making, with potentially wide‐ranging implications for the economy, environment, and civil society. Despite its growing popularity, though, the rationale behind the emergence of benefit corporations is an understudied question. In this article, we argue that benefit incorporation affects the very nature of the corporation by creating corporate common pool resources (CPRs) and that the CPR theory provides a way to understand the puzzle and future of the movement. This approach is important because it resituates the conversation, from a narrow view of the effect of the legislation on traditional corporate concepts to a broader view of the impact of the legislation. Furthermore, we consider the benefit corporation through the lens of Professor Elinor Ostrom's design principles, offering a unique perspective through which to analyze if the designs of state statutes and implementation by business entities meet criteria that would predict successful governance of the benefit corporation CPR.

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2016

Recent evidence of excessive comovement among stocks following index additions (Barberis, Shleifer, and Wurgler, 2005) and stock splits (Green and Hwang, 2009) challenges traditional finance theory. Based on a simple model, we show that the bivariate regressions relied upon in the literature often provide little or no information about the economic magnitude of the phenomenon of interest, and the coefficients in these regressions are very sensitive to time-variation in the characteristics of the return processes that are unrelated to excess comovement. Instead, univariate regressions of the stock return on the returns of the group it is leaving (e.g., non-S&P stocks) and the group it is joining (e.g., S&P stocks) reveal the relevant information. When we reexamine the empirical evidence using control samples matched on past returns and compute Dimson betas, almost all evidence of excess comovement disappears. The results in the literature are consistent with changes in the fundamental factor loadings of the stocks. One key element to understanding these striking results is that, in both the examples we study, the stocks exhibit strong returns prior to the event in question. We document the heretofore unknown empirical regularity that winner stocks exhibit increases in betas. Thus, much of the apparent excess comovement is just a manifestation of momentum.

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2015

We examine signing bonuses awarded to executives hired for or promoted to Named Executive Officer (NEO) positions at S&P 1500 companies during the period of 1992–2011. Executive signing bonuses are sizeable and increasing in use, and are labeled by the media as “golden hellos.” We find that executive signing bonuses are mainly awarded at firms with greater information asymmetry and higher innate risks, especially to younger executives, to mitigate the executives’ concerns about termination risk. When termination concerns are strong, signing bonus awards are associated with better performance and retention outcomes.

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This study examines the performance impact of the relative quality of a CEO’s compensation peers (peers selected to determine a CEO’s overall compensation) and bonus peers (peers selected to determine a CEO’s relative-performance-based bonus). We use the fraction of peers with greater managerial ability scores (Demerjian, Lev, and McVay, 2012) than the reporting firm to measure this CEO’s relative peer quality (RPQ). We find that firms with higher RPQ tend to earn superior risk-adjusted stock returns and experience higher profitability growth compared with firms that have lower RPQ. These results cannot be fully explained by a CEO’s power, compensation level, intrinsic talent, nor by the board’s possible motivation to use peers to signal a firm’s prospect. Learning among peers and the increased incentive to work harder induced by the peer-based tournament, however, might contribute to RPQ’s positive performance effect. Preliminary evidence also shows that high RPQ is not associated with increased earnings management or increased risk-taking behaviors.

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We compare the stock return forecasting performance of alternative payout yields. The net payout yield produces more accurate forecasts relative to alternatives, including the traditional dividend yield. This remains true even after excluding several years during the Great Depression when issuance was unusually high. The measure of cash flow used to form the yield matters economically. Long-term investors' hedging demand for stock is considerably reduced when net payout, rather than dividends, serves as the cash flow measure. An agent relying on an incorrect payout measure is willing to pay an economically significant "management fee" to switch to the optimal policy.

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2014

This paper examines whether one of the most important participants in the takeover market, the institutional investors of target companies, suffers from the disposition effect; and if so, how this selling bias influences the takeover outcomes. I report robust evidence that target institutional investors are reluctant to realize losses. This bias further allows their sunk cost to affect both the takeover price and the deal success. My results are explained by neither the undervalued targets, nor the 52-week high price effect. They are most pronounced among targets whose investors have a strong propensity to hold on to loser stocks.

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Using governance metrics based on antitakeover provisions and inside ownership, we find that firms with weaker corporate governance structures actually have smaller cash reserves. When distributing cash to shareholders, firms with weaker governance structures choose to repurchase instead of increasing dividends, avoiding future payout commitments. The combination of excess cash and weak shareholder rights leads to increases in capital expenditures and acquisitions. Firms with low shareholder rights and excess cash have lower profitability and valuations. However, there is only limited evidence that the presence of excess cash alters the overall relation between governance and profitability. In the US, weakly controlled managers choose to spend cash quickly on acquisitions and capital expenditures, rather than hoard it.

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2013

We use the deaths of directors and chief executive officers as a natural experiment to generate exogenous variation in the time and resources available to independent directors at interlocked firms. The loss of such key co-employees is an attention shock because it increases the board committee workload only for some interlocked directors - the 'treatment group'. There is a negative stock market reaction to attention busyness, the importane of their board roles, and their degree of independence magnify the treatment effect. Overall, directors busyness is detrimental to board monitoring quality and shareholder value.

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We investigate the impact of political institutions on corporate risk-taking. Using a large sample of non-financial firms from 77 countries covering the period from 1988 to 2008, we find that sound political institutions are positively associated with corporate risk-taking, and that this relation is stronger when government extraction is higher. In a subsample of 45 countries, we also find that politically connected firms engage in more risk-taking, which suggests that close ties to the government lead to less conservative investment choices. Our results are economically significant, and are robust to alternative risk-taking measures, various political institution proxies, cross-sectional and country-level regressions, and endogeneity concerns of political institutions. Our results have important implications for governments and corporate managers by providing direct relevance of political institutions to the corporate decision-making process. To encourage investment at the firm level, and hence innovation and overall growth, governments need to undertake the necessary reforms to control corruption and enforce contracts better, and thus decrease government predation and extraction.

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We use a multitude of tax reforms across OECD countries as natural experiments to estimate the market value of the tax benefits of debt financing. We report time-series evidence that tax reforms are followed by large changes in the value of corporate equity. However, the impact of tax reforms is greatly mitigated by the presence of leverage. The value of debt tax savings is greater among top tax payers, highly profitable firms, and in countries where tax laws are more strongly enforced. Importantly, the value of debt tax savings is in line with the benchmark implied by a traditional approach.

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We study the causal effects of analyst coverage on corporate investment and financing policies. We hypothesize that a decrease in analyst coverage increases information asymmetry and thus increases the cost of capital; as a result, firms decrease their investment and financing. We use broker closures and broker mergers to identify changes in analyst coverage that are exogenous to corporate policies. Using a difference‐in‐differences approach, we find that firms that lose an analyst decrease their investment and financing by 1.9% and 2.0% of total assets, respectively, compared to similar firms that do not lose an analyst.

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2012

The use of equity incentives is significantly greater in countries with stronger insider trading restrictions, and these higher incentives are associated with higher total pay. These findings are robust to alternative definitions of insider trading restrictions and enforcement, and to panel regressions with country fixed effects. We also find significant increases in top executive pay and the use of equity-based incentives in the period immediately following the initial enforcement of insider trading laws. We conclude that insider trading laws are one channel through which cross-country differences in pay practices can be explained.

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We analyze a sample of over 3,600 ex ante explicit severance pay agreements in place at 808 firms and show that firms set ex ante explicit severance pay agreements as one component in managing the optimal level of equity incentives. Younger executives are more likely to receive explicit contracts and better terms. Firms with high distress risk, high takeover probability, and high return volatility are significantly more likely to enter into new or revised severance contracts. Finally, ex post payouts to managers are largely determined by the ex ante contract terms.

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This study uses the method of Cremers and Petajisto (2009) to separate active institutional investors from passive ones and shows that only active institutional investors are able to alleviate the anomalous comovement of stock returns. Focusing on two events directly linked to the excess comovement anomaly: S&P 500 Index additions and stock splits, I find that if an event stock has more active institutional investors trading in the post-event period, the anomalous comovement effect disappears. In contrast, if an event stock experiences a massive exit of active institutional investors, this market anomaly persists. Furthermore, the exit of active institutional investors also results in a strong price synchronicity effect. Overall, my findings support the notion that active investing is socially valuable in mitigating the influences of uninformed investors and enhancing stock market’s information efficiency in the long run.

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We examine whether short sellers in the equity market provide valuable information to investors in the bond market. Using a sample of publicly traded bond data covering the period from 1988 to 2011, we find that firms with high short interest have lower credit ratings and are more likely to have their ratings downgraded. We also find that firms with highly shorted stocks are associated with higher bond yield spreads (about 24 basis points). Evidence of causality from short interest spikes and a natural experiment based on the SEC’s Regulation SHO pilot program confirms our findings. Overall, our results suggest that equity short sellers provide predictive information to creditors in the bond market.

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2011

This study provides empirical evidence on the role of disclosure in resolving agency conflicts in delegated investment management. For certain expenditures fund managers have alternative means of payment which differ greatly in their opacity: payments can be expensed (relatively transparent); or bundled with brokerage commissions (relatively opaque). We find that the return impact of opaque payments is significantly more negative than that of transparent payments. Moreover, we find a differential flow reaction that confirms the opacity of commission bundling. Collectively, our results demonstrate the importance of transparency in addressing agency costs of delegated investment management.

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Institutional trading arrangements often involve the portfolio manager delegating the task of trade execution to a separate division within the firm. We model the agency conflict that arises in this setting and show that optimal performance benchmarks often create an incentive to execute orders contrary to concurrent information flow. We hypothesize that aggregate contrarian trading resulting from widespread application of such benchmarks leads to delays in the assimilation of information in security prices. Using institutional trading data, we document the hypothesized contrarian trading pattern and relate the pattern to price-adjustment delays in the response of individual stocks to index futures returns. The evidence supports the assertion that delegated institutional trading contributes to these delays.

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I find that firms experiencing increases in import competition significantly reduce their leverage ratios by issuing equity and selling assets to repay debt. Using import tariffs and foreign exchange rates as instrumental variables for import penetration, I show that these results are not manifestations of endogenous relations between import competition and leverage. The results are consistent with traditional tradeoff models of capital structure that predict a positive relation between book leverage and future expected profitability. Further evidence suggests that import competition affects leverage through changes in the tradeoff between the tax benefits of debt and the costs of financial distress.

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This paper examines the use of derivatives and its relation with risk taking in the hedge fund industry. In a large sample of hedge funds, 71% of the funds trade derivatives. After controlling for fund strategies and characteristics, derivatives users on average exhibit lower fund risks (e.g., market risk, downside risk, and event risk), such risk reduction is especially pronounced for directional-style funds. Further, derivatives users engage less in risk shifting and are less likely to liquidate in a poor market state. However, the flow-performance relation suggests that investors do not differentiate derivatives users when making investing decisions

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Aggregate stock return volatility is both persistent and countercyclical. This paper tests whether it is possible to improve volatility forecasts at monthly and quarterly horizons by conditioning on additional macroeconomic variables. I find that several variables related to macroeconomic uncertainty, time-varying expected stock returns, and credit conditions Granger cause volatility. It is more difficult to find evidence that forecasts exploiting macroeconomic variables outperform a univariate benchmark out-of-sample. The most successful approaches involve simple combinations of individual forecasts. Predictive power associated with macroeconomic variables appears to concentrate around the onset of recessions.

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This paper examines investment strategies of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), their effect on target firm valuation, and how both of these are related to SWF transparency. We find that SWFs prefer large and poorly performing firms facing financial difficulties. Their investments have a positive effect on target firms’ stock prices around the announcement date but no substantial effect on firm performance and governance in the long-run. We also find that transparent SWFs are more likely to invest in financially constrained firms and have a greater impact on target firm value than opaque SWFs. Overall, SWFs are similar to passive institutional investors in their preference for target characteristics and in their effect on target performance, and SWF transparency influences SWFs’ investment activities and their impact on target firm value.

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This study provides empirical evidence on the role of disclosure in resolving agency conflicts in delegated investment management. For certain expenditures fund managers have alternative means of payment which differ greatly in their opacity: payments can be expensed (relatively transparent); or bundled with brokerage commissions (relatively opaque). We find that the return impact of opaque payments is significantly more negative than that of transparent payments. Moreover, we find a differential flow reaction that confirms the opacity of commission bundling. Collectively, our results demonstrate the importance of transparency in addressing agency costs of delegated investment management.

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2010

This paper examines the use of derivatives and its relation with risk-taking in the hedge fund industry. From a large sample of hedge funds, 71% of the funds trade derivatives. After controlling for fund strategies and characteristics, derivatives users on average exhibit lower fund risks, such as market risk, downside risk, and event risk; such risk reduction is especially pronounced for directional-style funds. Further, derivatives users engage less in risk shifting and are less likely to liquidate in a poor market state. However, the flow-performance relation suggests that investors do not differentiate derivatives users when making investing decisions.

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We provide new evidence linking board characteristics and performance. We employ a sample of index funds to isolate the operational component of performance, thereby minimizing investment policy effects in our performance measures. Using manually collected governance data from the mutual fund industry covering the period from 1998 to 2007, we find an inverse relation between board size and fund performance. We also find evidence supporting our hypotheses that organizational form (whether the fund sponsor is publicly or privately held) as an internal governance mechanism plays an important role in determining operational performance. Specifically, we find that board size, the presence of fund sponsor officers, and boards comprised of all independent directors are related to operational performance when the sponsor is publicly held. For privately held firms, board structure is insignificantly related to performance. Overall, the results are consistent with the notion that there may not be a single optimal board structure that is applicable to all funds, attempts to regulate board attributes should be considered with caution, and sponsor level factors are important board structure considerations.

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We provide new evidence linking board characteristics and performance. We employ a sample of index funds to isolate the operational component of performance, thereby minimizing investment policy effects in our performance measures. Using manually collected governance data from the mutual fund industry covering the period from 1998 to 2007, we find an inverse relation between board size and fund performance. We also find evidence supporting our hypotheses that organizational form (whether the fund sponsor is publicly or privately held) as an internal governance mechanism plays an important role in determining operational performance. Specifically, we find that board size, the presence of fund sponsor officers, and boards comprised of all independent directors are related to operational performance when the sponsor is publicly held. For privately held firms, board structure is insignificantly related to performance. Overall, the results are consistent with the notion that there may not be a single optimal board structure that is applicable to all funds, attempts to regulate board attributes should be considered with caution, and sponsor level factors are important board structure considerations.

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2009

This paper evaluates the ability of bond funds to market time nine common factors related to bond markets. Timing ability generates nonlinearity in fund returns as a function of common factors, but there are several non-timing-related sources of nonlinearity. Controlling for the non-timing-related nonlinearity is important. Funds' returns are more concave than benchmark returns, and this would appear as poor timing ability in naive models. With controls, the timing coefficients appear neutral to weakly positive. Adjusting for nonlinearity the performance of many bond funds is significantly negative on an after-cost basis, but significantly positive on a before-cost basis.

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2007

This paper examines whether self-described market timing hedge funds have the ability to time the U.S. equity market. We propose a new measure for timing return and volatility jointly that relates fund returns to the squared Sharpe ratio of the market portfolio. Using a sample of 221 market timing funds during 1994-2005, we find evidence of timing ability at both the aggregate and fund levels. Timing ability appears relatively strong in bear and volatile market conditions. Our findings are robust to other explanations, including public information-based strategies, options trading, and illiquid holdings. Bootstrap analysis shows that the evidence is unlikely to be attributed to luck.

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2006

We examine a sample of 125 equity mutual funds that closed to new investment between 1993 and 2004. We find that funds close following a period of superior performance and abnormal fund inflows. Fund managers raise their fees when they close to compensate managers for losses in income due to the restrictions in size imposed by the fund closure decision. Managers reopen when fund size declines. However, they do not earn superior returns after re-opening, suggesting that the fund closure decision does not provide information about superior fund managers.

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2005

We examine whether mutual funds change their names to take advantage of current hot investment styles, and what effects these name changes have on inflows to the funds, and to the funds' subsequent returns. We find that the year after a fund changes its name to reflect a current hot style, the fund experiences an average cumulative abnormal flow of 28 percent, with no improvement in performance. The increase in flows is similar across funds whose holdings match the style implied by their new name and those whose holdings do not, suggesting that investors are irrationally influenced by cosmetic effects.

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2004

We examine the relation between the cost of debt financing and a governance index that contains various antitakeover and shareholder protection provisions. Using firm-level data from the Investors Research Responsibility Center for the period 1990 through 2000, we find that antitakeover governance provisions lower the cost of debt financing. Segmenting the data into firms with strongest management rights (strongest antitakeover provisions) and firms with strongest shareholder rights (weakest antitakeover provisions), we find that strong antitakeover provisions are associated with a lower cost of debt financing while weak antitakeover provisions are associated with a higher cost of debt financing, with a difference of about thirty-four basis points between the two groups. Overall, the results suggest that antitakeover governance provisions, although not beneficial to stockholders, are viewed favorably in the bond market.

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We examine the links among IPO underpricing, post-IPO analyst coverage, and the likelihood of switching underwriters. Our findings indicate a significant positive relation between underpricing and analyst coverage by the lead underwriter. This positive association is robust to controls for other determinants of underpricing previously documented in the literature and to controls for the endogeneity of underpricing and analyst coverage. In addition, after controlling for other potential determinants of switching underwriters, we find that the probability of switching underwriters between IPO and SEO is negatively related to the unexpected amount of post-IPO analyst coverage. We interpret these findings as consistent with the hypothesis that underpricing is, in part, compensation for expected post-IPO analyst coverage.

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We study the price effects of firms added to and deleted from the S&P 500 index and document an asymmetric price response: there is a permanent increase in the price of added firms but no similar decline for deleted firms. These results are at odds with extant explanations of the effects of S&P 500 index changes which imply a symmetric price response to additions and deletions. A possible explanation for asymmetric price effects arises from changes in investor awareness. Results from our empirical tests support the thesis that changes in investor awareness contribute to the asymmetric price effects of S&P 500 index additions and deletions.

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We investigate the contribution of option markets to price discovery, using a modification of Hasbrouck's (1995) “information share” approach. Based on five years of stock and options data for 60 firms, we estimate the option market's contribution to price discovery to be about 17% on average. Option market price discovery is related to trading volume and spreads in both markets, and stock volatility. Price discovery across option strike prices is related to leverage, trading volume, and spreads. Our results are consistent with theoretical arguments that informed investors trade in both stock and option markets, suggesting an important informational role for options.

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2003

We argue that short sellers affect prices in a significant and systematic manner. In particular, we contend that speculative short sales contribute to the weekend effect: the inability to trade over the weekend is likely to cause these short sellers to close their speculative positions on Fridays and reestablish new short positions on Mondays causing stock prices to rise on Fridays and fall on Mondays. We find evidence in support of this hypothesis based on a comparison of high short-interest stocks and low short-interest stocks, stocks with and without actively traded options, IPOs, zero short-interest stocks, and highly volatile stocks.

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We investigate the impact of founding-family ownership structure on the agency cost of debt. We find that founding-family ownership is common in large, publicly traded firms and is related, both statistically and economically, to a lower cost of debt financing. The evidence also indicates that the relation between founding-family holdings and debt costs is non-monotonic; debt costs first decrease as family ownership increases but then increase with increasing family ownership. However, irrespective of the level of family holdings, we find that family firms enjoy a lower cost of debt than non-family firms. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that continued founding-family ownership in publicly traded firms reduces the agency costs of debt. Additional analysis reveals that when a family member serves as the firm's CEO, the cost of debt financing is higher than if an outsider is CEO, but still lower than in non-family firms. Overall, the results are consistent with the idea that founding-family firms have incentive structures that result in fewer agency conflicts between equity and debt claimants, suggesting that bond investors view founding-family ownership as an organizational structure that better protects their interests.

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We examine the determinants of debt issuance in 10 major currencies by large U. S. firms. Using the fraction of foreign subsidiaries and tests exploiting the disaggregated nature of our data, we find strong evidence that firms issue foreign currency debt to hedge their exposure both at the aggregate and the individual currency levels. We also find some evidence that firms choose currencies in which information asymmetry between domestic and foreign investors is low. We find no evidence that tax arbitrage, liquidity of underlying debt markets, or legal regimes influence the decision to issue debt in foreign currency.

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2002

The literature provides conflicting evidence on the relation between corporate international activity and the cost and level of debt financing. Based on this evidence, we explore the impact of firm international activity on debt financing. Using a market-based sample of U.S. firms, we find significant evidence of a non-monotonic relation between firm international activity and both the cost and level of debt financing. Specifically, we find that, contrary to prior research, firm international activity is associated with a 13% reduction in the cost of debt and a 30% increase in the level of debt financing.

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2001

This article examines whether insiders use private information to time the exercises of their executive stock options. Before May 1991, insiders had to hold the stock acquired through option exercise for 6 months. Exercises from that regime precede significantly positive abnormal stock performance, suggesting the use of inside information to time exercises. By contrast, we find little evidence of such timing since insiders have been able to sell acquired shares immediately. Now, such timing should show up as negative abnormal stock returns after option exercise. However, we find negative stock performance only after exercises by top managers at small firms.

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Recent research suggests that firm internationalization is associated with greater exchange rate risk and a higher cost of equity capital. However, there is no research on the relation between the level of firm international activity and the cost of debt financing. This study offers the first such empirical evidence using non-provisional public debt. Based on a sample of 2,194 U.S. firm-year observations, we find that firms with greater levels of international activity have better credit ratings. We also find that the cost of debt financing is inversely related to the degree of firm internationalization beyond that incorporated in credit ratings. These results suggest that rating agencies do not fully incorporate firm international activity in their analysis resulting in a downward bias in credit ratings for international firms. In aggregate, the results imply that failing to incorporate firm international activity in debt pricing leads to potential omitted variable problems.

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This paper demonstrates a tradeoff between the risk-shifting and hedging incentives of firms and identifies conditions under which each dominates. A firm may have the incentive to hedge in a multi-period context, even if no such incentive exists in a single-period one. Unrestricted access to swaps in the presence of asymmetric information about firm type and the swapping motive would lead to unbounded speculation resulting in breakdowns in swap and debt markets. Price-based methods are unable to control this and market makers have to rely upon additional exposure information or credit enhancement devices to preserve equilibrium.

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We consider the patterns in the predictability of interest rates expectations hypothesis (EH), and attempt to account for them with affine models. We make the following points: (i) Discrepancies in the data from the EH take a particularly simple form with forward rates: as theory suggests, the largest discrepancies are at short maturities. (ii) Reasonable estimates of one-factor Cox-Ingersoll-Ross models imply regressions on the opposite side of the EH than we see in the data: regression slopes are greater than one (iii) Multifactore affine models can nevertheless approximate both departures from the EH and other properties of interest rates.

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2000

We examine the incidence of corporations lowering the exercise prices of their executive stock options. These options can be viewed as a combination of a down-and-out call option and a down-and-in call option with the exercise price equal to the barrier. Using barrier option pricing theory, we find that at a minimum this features adds 7-10 percent to the value of the options on the grant date. We also examine the market, industry and firm-specific performance of a sample of 37 firms and 53 reset events. The period covered was 250 days before and after the day on which the firm reset the exercise prices of its executive stock options. The evidence strongly supports the conclusion that resetting the exercise price follows a period of poor firm-specific performance. The magnitude of the reduction in the exercise price was positively related to the firm's stock price performance and using a value- weighted market portfolio, it was negatively related to the market's performance. No evidence supports the contention that lowering the exercise price brings an end to the firm's problems and leads to an increase in shareholder wealth. Though the direct dollar impact at the time of the reset is relatively small to the shareholders, it is not insignificant to management. Allowing for the possibility of resetting after a stock price decline can create a perverse incentive under certain circumstances for managers to deliberately drive the stock price down further. In addition management has a greater incentive to engage in high risk projects than it would have with ordinary non- esettable options. These incentives and our results that the resets are indeed done, sometimes repeatedly, following poor firm-specific performance suggest that resetting is not in the best interests of shareholders, who should certainly question this practice.

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This article is an exploratory examination of the benefits and risks associated with opening of stock markets. Specifically, we estimate changes in the level and volatility of stock returns, inflation, and exchange rates around market openings. We find that stock returns increase immediately after market opening without a concomitant increase in volatility. Stock markets become more efficient as determined by testing the random walk hypothesis. We find no evidence of an increase in inflation or an appreciation of exchange rates. If anything, inflation seems to decrease after market opening as do the volatility of inflation and volatility of exchange rates.

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1999

A rational analysis of analyst behavior predicts that analysts immediately and without bias incorporate information into their forecasts. Several studies document analysts' tendency to systematically underreact to information and are inconsistent with rationality. Other studies indicate that analysts systematically overreact to new information or that they are systematically optimistic. This study discriminates between these three hypotheses by examining the interaction between the nature of information and the type of reaction by analysts. The evidence indicates that analysts underreact to negative information, but overreact to positive information. These results are consistent with systematic optimism in response to information.

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Weekly returns of stock portfolios exhibit substantial autocorrelation. Analytical studies suggest that nonsynchronous trading is capable of explaining from 5 to 65 percent of the autocorrelation. The varying importance of nonsynchronous trading in these studies arises primarily from differing assumptions regarding nontrading periods of stocks. We simulate the effects of nonsynchronous trading by sampling stock returns from a return generating process using transactions data to obtain the precise time of each stock?s last trade. We find that simulated weekly portfolio returns exhibit autocorrelations that are roughly 25 percent that of their observed (CRSP) weekly returns.

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1998

We find that option listings are associated with a decrease in the variance of the pricing error, a decrease in the adverse selection component of the spread, and an increase in the relative weight placed by the specialist on public information in revising prices for the underlying stocks. We also find that there is a decrease in the spread and increases in quoted depth, trading volume, trading frequency, and transaction size after option listings. Overall, our results suggest that option listings improve the market quality of the underlying stocks.

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Theories of asset pricing suggest that the amortized cost of the spread is relevant to investors' required returns. The amortized spread measures the spread's cost over investors' holding periods and is approximately equal to the spread times share turnover. We examine amortized spreads for Amex and NYSE stocks over the period 1983–1992. We find that stocks with similar spreads can have vastly different share turnover, and thus, a stock's amortized spread cannot be predicted reliably by its spread alone. Consistent with theories of transaction costs, we find stronger evidence that amortized spreads are priced than we find for unamortized spreads.
An empirical examination of the amortized spread

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1997

We investigate share price responses to the formation of 345 strategic alliances spanning 1983–1992. The average stock price response is positive, with no evidence of wealth transfers. This is true for horizontal alliances (involving partner firms in industries with the same three-digit SIC codes) as well as non-horizontal alliances. For horizontal alliances, more value accrues when the alliance involves the transfer or pooling of technical knowledge than with nontechnical alliances. Finally, partnering firms tend to display better operating performance than their industry peers over the five-year period surrounding the year in which an alliance is formed.

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We analyze the effect of privatization on the performance of British Airways by examining the privatization's impact on airfares and competitors' stock prices. We find that stock prices of U.S. competitors fell a significant 7% upon British Airways' privatization, implying expectation of a more competitive British Airways. Closer rivals of British Airways experienced a greater drop in stock price than more distant rivals. Further, airfares in markets served by British Airways fell significantly upon privatization. The results suggest that a change from government to private ownership improves economic efficiency.

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1994

We investigate the relation between trading activity, the measurement of security returns, and the evolution of security prices by examining estimates of systematic risk surrounding equity offerings and share repurchases. In contrast to prior studies, we find no evidence of changes in systematic risk following either equity offerings or share repurchases after correcting for biases caused by infrequent trading and price adjustment delays. Moreover, changes in ordinary least squares beta estimates are significantly related to contemporaneous changes in trading activity. Our results have implications for studies interested in the properties of security returns, particularly those examining periods in which trading activity changes.

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This article examines the effect of issuing debt with and without “poison put” covenants on outstanding debt and equity claims for the period 1988 to 1989. The analysis shows that “poison put” covenants affect stockholders negatively and outstanding bondholders positively, while debt issued without such covenants has no effect. The study also finds a negative relationship between stock and bond returns for firms issuing poison put debt. These results are consistent with a “mutual interest hypothesis,” which suggests that the issuance of poison put debt protects managers and, coincidentally, bondholders, at the expense of stockholders.

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This article documents the effect on share value of listing on the New York Stock Exchange and reports the results of a joint test of Merton's (1987)investor recognition factor and Amihud and Mendelson's (1986) liquidity factor as explanations of the change in share value. We find that during the 1980s stocks earned abnormal returns of 5 percent in response to the listing announcement and that listing is associated with an increase in the number of shareholders and a reduction in bid‐ask spreads. Cross‐sectional regressions provide support for both investor recognition and liquidity as sources of value from exchange listing.

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1993

1992

This paper investigates the behavior of stock and option prices around block trades in stocks. The results indicate that for both uptick and downtick block trades the stock prices adjust within a fifteen minute period after the block trade. Moreover, for uptick blocks there is no evidence of any stock price reaction before the block trade. However, the adjustment of stock price for downtick blocks begins about fifteen minutes before the block trade. We also find that option price behavior differs considerably from stock price behavior. Specifically, our results suggest that options exhibit abnormal price behavior starting thirty minutes before the block and ending one hour after the block. The pattern is more pronounced for downtick blocks and for put options. We interpret this abnormal price behavior of options before the block trade as consistent with intermarket frontrunning.

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Over the two-year period prior to the bankruptcy announcement, insider trading is significantly greater for OTC bankrupt firms, but not for exchange-listed firms, than for an industry-size matched sample of nonbankrupt firms. In addition, the level of insider selling increases over the final five months leading to the first public announcement of OTC firms. Finally, firms displaying the most negative price reaction over the announcement period are found to have a significantly larger proportion of insider selling than other firms.

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Long-term performance plans are theoretically adopted to better align the interests of the managers and stockholders by redirecting managerial decision-making toward the long-term performance of the corporation. This study reports significant positive excess returns around the announcement of performance plan adoption, which is consistent with the view that such plans would reduce the agency problem. In addition, this study finds an association between the adoption of long-term performance plans and subsequent growth in profitability suggesting that long-term performance plans may have been successful in motivating an enhancement in the accounting measures of profitability used to reward managers under the plan. Finally, the excess returns around the announcement of performance plan adoption are found to be positively correlated with subsequent change in growth of earnings per share, the most commonly used accounting performance measure.

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1991

Examination of 1,600 seasoned equity offerings reveals little evidence that underwriters systematically set offer prices below the market price on the major exchanges, though they may do so for NASDAQ issues. Quick round-trip transactions in seasoned offerings are not profitable, but subscribing to an offering and holding the stock for 30 days seems to be very profitable, especially in the NASDAQ market. In addition to seasoned offerings, we analyze 250 issues of new classes of preferred stock. These issues are not underpriced.

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1990

The traditional view of the futures clearinghouse as an insurer that eliminates the need for customers to evaluate default risk is inaccurate. A clearinghouse member default in 1985 confirms that the clearinghouse only guarantees payment from member to member, not from customer to customer or member to customer. Thus, non-defaulting customers are subject to losses as a result of the action of individuals with whom thay have no contractual obligations. This study models the behavior of customers choosing a futures commission merchant (FCM) given the current legal position of the clearinghouse. In a single-period model with symmetric information, customers can eliminate their exposure to defaults of other customers or of their FCM only by choosing to trade through "boutique" (undiversified) FCMs. In practice, monitoring and rebalancing costs may impede the attainment of zero default risk. However, FCM diversification remains an important factor in customer choice of an FCM. When setting capital requirements, clearinghouses and government regulators need to consider the implications of diversification for both customer and market protection.

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Prior studies report lower issue costs for shelf registered debt and conclude that the benefits of increased underwriter competition can be realized by those firms using this registration procedure. This study re-examines the purported superiority of issuing debt via shelf registration, and finds that the savings in issue costs displayed by earlier studies can be attributed to a self selection bias and not the method of registration.

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A fundamental statistical test of serial independence is developed and applied to daily stock returns. Let xt be the deviation of the daily return on a stock from its sample mean after any autocorrelation present has been removed. If xt is serially independent, then the cumulative sum of xt over time is the position of a one-dimensional random walk on a line. The empirical distribution of step lengths over a large sample allows the distribution of the largest absolute excursion in a T-step walk to be calculated by repeated simulation. The observed maximal excursions are found to be significantly smaller than one would expect, based on serial independence and the observed distribution of step lengths. It is concluded that these daily stock returns are not serially independent and that the market value of the corporations studied has a tendency to return to an interval around the trend value.
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1988

While it has been known for some time that, under uncertainty, the original version of the Fisher hypothesis is not precisely correct, empirical researchers have largely ignored this fact. Such an omission has possibly resulted in erroneous conclusions concerning other hypotheses; most notably the impact of prices on the real economy. This paper clarifies some of the previous interpretations of the existing empirical literature and provides a theoretical version of the relation between prices and interest rates. Empirical tests based on both the Livingston survey data and data from time‐series forecasting models provide support for the Fisher effect and the hypothesis that only covariance risk is priced in the Treasury bill market.

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In this paper, we extend earlier work on hedging models so that uncertainty about both deposit supply and loan demand is incorporated as well as random rates of return on loans and CD's. Our model suggests that the optimal forward position is the sum of three ratios that should be estimated simultaneously. Using bank‐specific data, the optimal hedge ratios are estimated in both the pre‐deregulation and deregulation subperiods. Our results show that previous studies of bank hedging with interest rate futures have greatly overstated (a) the volume of short futures positions that banks should take and (b) the degree of homogeneity of optimal hedge ratios across the banking system. Similarly, deregulation has not uniformly affected the interest rate risk borne by different institutions.

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1987

This paper considers the maturity intermediation and intertemporal lending decisions of risk‐averse financial intermediaries. In particular, the maturity mismatch problem and the fixed‐versus‐variable‐rate lending decision are modeled when the major source of risk involves uncertain future interest rates. The results imply that the strategy of matching the maturity of assets and liabilities is not generally optimal or even minimum risk. This is due primarily to the “built‐in” hedge that the intermediary has as a result of rolling over short‐term loans while continuing to finance long‐term loans. Intertemporal dependencies between loan demand and costs (or both) also have an effect on the optimal degree of maturity mismatching and provide one rationale for making loans at rates below current marginal cost.

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1986

This article examines the interest rate risk characteristics of a general class of floating rate securities, which includes Chance's securities as a special case. The calculation of duration for Chance's securities is zero, as it should be. Securities in the broader class can have durations that are negative or longer than the period of time that must elapse before the payments can reflect changes in market interest rates. The effect on duration of changes in the parameters of the function relating interest rate shocks to the payments and changes in the slope of the term structure are examined.

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This paper considers the maturity intermediation and intertemporal lending decisions of risk‐averse financial intermediaries. In particular, the maturity mismatch problem and the fixed‐versus‐variable‐rate lending decision are modeled when the major source of risk involves uncertain future interest rates. The results imply that the strategy of matching the maturity of assets and liabilities is not generally optimal or even minimum risk. This is due primarily to the “built‐in” hedge that the intermediary has as a result of rolling over short‐term loans while continuing to finance long‐term loans. Intertemporal dependencies between loan demand and costs (or both) also have an effect on the optimal degree of maturity mismatching and provide one rationale for making loans at rates below current marginal cost.

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1985

Rule 415 allows a firm to register all the securities it reasonably expects to sell over the next two years and then, at the management's option, to sell those securities over these two years whenever it chooses. This paper examines whether equity offerings made under Rule 415 (shelf offerings) differ in issuing costs from equity offerings not sold under this rule. We find that shelf offerings cost 13% less for syndicated issues and 51% less for nonsyndicated issues. We also investigate the empirical relevance of the market overhang argument which suggests that shelf registrations depress the price of the registering firm's shares more than traditional registrations. Our data does not support the market overhang argument.

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1984

When raising new equity capital managers have historically rejected the direct offer method favoring instead the seemingly more expensive underwritten public issue. This paper provides a resolution for this equity financing paradox by demonstrating empirically that firms which engage in direct offers enjoy a comparative cost advantage that is more than sufficient to account for the absolute reported cost differences between the two methods of equity financing.

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Controversy surrounds the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Rule 415 that went into effect in March 1982 and remained an experiment until it was permanenty adopted for large firms in November 1983. Rule 415allows a company to register all the securities it plans to issue over the next two years and then to sell someor all of the securities whenever it chooses. This procedure is known as a shelf registration. The purposes of Rule 415 are to simplify the registration of new corporate securities and to allow more flexibility in the way issues are underwritten.

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The group of issues that falls under the heading of bank capital adequacy has received a great deal of attention from academics, regulators, and bankers in recent years and is likely to continue as a subject for debate for many years to come. Although the traditional questions debated in the literature on capital adequacy are important and remain unresolved, this paper is not directed at them. Instead, the approach here is to examine how bank regulators operating within the existing legal structure of regulation can pursue optimal policies with respect to the regulation of bank capital.

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1982

When raising new equity capital managers have historically rejected the direct offer method favoring instead the seemingly more expensive underwritten public issue. This paper provides a resolution for this equity financing paradox by demonstrating empirically that firms which engage in direct offers enjoy a comparative cost advantage that is more than sufficient to account for the absolute reported cost differences between the two methods of equity financing.

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1981

This paper provides evidence of excess returns earned by investors in acquired firms prior to the first public announcement of planned mergers. The study is distinguished from earlier merger studies in its use of daily holding period returns for the 194 firms sampled. The results confirm statistically what most traders already know. Impending merger announcements are poorly held secrets, and trading on this nonpublic information abounds. Specifically, leakage of inside information is a pervasive problem occurring at a significant level up to 12 trading days prior to the first public announcement of a proposed merger.

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1980

1979

1978

1977

1975

1972

1970

We study the effect of investor horizons on a comprehensive set of corporate decisions. We argue that monitoring by long-term investors generates decision making that maximizes shareholder value. We find that long-term investors strengthen governance and restrain managerial misbehaviors such as earnings management and financial fraud. They discourage a range of investment and financing activities but encourage payouts. Innovation increases, in quantity and quality. Shareholders benefit through higher profitability that the stock market does not fully anticipate, and lower risk.

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We examine the effect of aggregate cash flow news and discount rate news on momentum returns. We find that momentum profits are higher following aggregate positive cash flow news, even in down markets or low sentiment periods. This finding expands on the evidence in Cooper et al. (2004) that momentum is significant only when past market returns are non-negative and in Antoniou et al. (2013) that momentum is weaker when sentiment is pessimistic. We find that the higher momentum profits during aggregate positive cash flow news periods are primarily driven by the losers continuing to underperform in subsequent periods. Our findings are consistent with the Hong and Stein (1999) model in the sense that gradual diffusion of contradictory news is accentuated when change in wealth is positive and relatively more permanent.

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Using bank level measures of competition and co-dependence, we show a robust negative relationship between bank competition and systemic risk. Whereas much of the extant literature has focused on the relationship between competition and the absolute level of risk of individual banks, in this paper we examine the correlation in the risk taking behavior of banks. We find that greater competition encourages banks to take on more diversified risks, making the banking system less fragile to shocks. Examining the impact of the institutional and regulatory environment on bank systemic risk shows that banking systems are more fragile in countries with weak supervision and private monitoring, greater government ownership of banks, and with public policies that restrict competition. We also find that the negative effect of lack of competition can be mitigated by a strong institutional environment that allows for efficient public and private monitoring of financial institutions.

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This paper studies intercreditor conflict arising from political interference in the bankruptcy process. The U.S. government’s intervention in the 2009 reorganizations of Chrysler and GM purportedly elevated claims of the auto union over those of the automakers’ senior creditors in violation of bankruptcy priority rules. Critics predicted that businesses would experience an increase in their borrowing costs because of the risk that politically-powerful junior claimants might now leap-frog other creditors. We examine the financial market where this effect would be most detectible, the market for bonds of highly unionized companies. We find no evidence that bondholders of unionized firms reacted negatively to the government intervention and reject the claim that investors viewed the reorganizations as establishing a precedent for priority jumping by organized labor.

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Deposit insurance is widely offered in a number of countries as part of a financial system safety net to promote stability. An unintended consequence of deposit insurance is the reduction in the incentive of depositors to monitor banks which lead to excessive risk-taking. We examine the relation between deposit insurance and bank risk and systemic fragility in the years leading up to and during the recent financial crisis. We find that generous financial safety nets increase bank risk and systemic fragility in the years leading up to the global financial crisis. However, during the crisis, bank risk is lower and systemic stability is greater in countries with deposit insurance coverage. Our findings suggest that the “moral hazard effect” of deposit insurance dominates in good times while the “stabilization effect” of deposit insurance dominates in turbulent times. The overall effect of deposit insurance over the full sample we study remains negative since the destabilizing effect during normal times is greater in magnitude compared to the stabilizing effect during global turbulence. In addition, we find that good bank supervision can alleviate the unintended consequences of deposit insurance on bank systemic risk during good times, suggesting that fostering the appropriate incentive framework is very important for ensuring systemic stability.

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The standard measures of distress risk ignore the fact that firm defaults are correlated and that some defaults are more likely to occur in bad times. We use risk premium computed from corporate credit spreads to measure a firm’s exposure to systematic variation in default risk. Unlike previously used measures, the credit risk premium explicitly accounts for the non-diversifiable component of distress risk. In contrast to prior findings in the literature, we find that stocks with higher systematic default risk exposures, have higher expected equity returns which are largely explained by the Fama-French risk factors. We confirm the robustness of these results by using an alternative systematic default risk factor for firms that do not have bonds outstanding.

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This paper examines time-series and cross-country variations in default risk co-dependence in the global banking system. The authors construct a default risk measure for all publicly traded banks using the Merton contingent claim model, and examine the evolution of the correlation structure of default risk for more than 1,800 banks in more than 60 countries. They find that there has been a significant increase in default risk co-dependence over the three-year period leading to the financial crisis. They also find that countries that are more integrated, and that have liberalized financial systems and weak banking supervision, have higher co-dependence in their banking sector. The results support an increase in scope for international supervisory co-operation, as well as capital charges for "too-connected-to-fail" institutions that can impose significant externalities.

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The global financial crisis brought government guarantees to the forefront of the debate. Based on a review of frictions that hinder financial contracting, this paper concludes that the common justifications for government guarantees — i.e., principal-agent frictions or un-internalized externalities in an environment of risk neutrality — are flawed. Even where risk is purely idiosyncratic — and thus diversifiable in principle — government guarantees (typically granted via development banks/agencies) can be justified if private lenders are risk averse and because of the state’s comparative advantage over markets in resolving the collective action frictions that hinder risk spreading. To exploit this advantage while keeping moral hazard in check, however, development banks/agencies have to price their guarantees fairly, crowd in the private sector, and reduce their excessive risk aversion. The latter requires overcoming agency frictions between managers and owner (the state), which would likely entail a significant reshaping of development banks’ mandates, governance, and risk management systems.

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Using bank level measures of competition and co-dependence, the authors show a robust positive relationship between bank competition and systemic stability. Whereas much of the extant literature has focused on the relationship between competition and the absolute level of risk of individual banks, in this paper we examine the correlation in the risk taking behavior of banks, hence systemic risk. The analysis finds that greater competition encourages banks to take on more diversified risks, making the banking system less fragile to shocks. Examining the impact of the institutional and regulatory environment on systemic stability shows that banking systems are more fragile in countries with weak supervision and private monitoring, high government ownership of banks, and in countries with public policies that restrict competition. Furthermore, lack of competition has a greater adverse effect on systemic stability in countries with generous safety nets and weak supervision.

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We analyze a sample of over 3,600 ex ante explicit severance pay agreements in place at 808 firms and show that firms set ex ante explicit severance pay agreements as one component in managing the optimal level of equity incentives. Younger executives are more likely to receive explicit contracts and better terms. Firms with high distress risk, high takeover probability, and high return volatility are significantly more likely to enter into new or revised severance contracts. Finally, ex post payouts to managers are largely determined by the ex ante contract terms.

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This paper examines how corporate governance and executive compensation affected bank capitalization strategies for an international sample of banks in 2003-2011. "Good" corporate governance, which favors shareholder interests, is found to give rise to lower bank capitalization. Boards of intermediate size, separation of the chief executive officer and chairman roles, and an absence of anti-takeover provisions, in particular, lead to low bank capitalization. However, executive options and stock wealth invested in the bank are associated with better capitalization except just before the crisis in 2006. In that year, stock options wealth was associated with lower capitalization, which suggests that potential gains from taking on more bank risk outweighed the prospect of additional loss. Banks' tendencies to continue payouts to shareholders after experiencing negative income shocks are shown to reflect executive risk-taking incentives.

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Concludes that based on a review of the theoretical foundations of public guarantees, the commonly used justifications for public guarantees based solely on agency frictions on un-internalized externalities remain flawed. When idiosyncratic risk exists, justification of public guarantees depends solely on risk aversion. The state can spread risk more finely than markets by coordinating atomistic agents that would otherwise not organize themselves to solve monitoring or commitment problems. When systematic risk exists, the state adds value not by spreading the risk but by directly limiting it through better coordination among agents. In all cases, the analysis calls for exploiting more fully the natural complementarities between the state and the markets in bearing risk. In turn, this effort also requires overcoming agency frictions between the managers and the owners of development banks, a process that may entail a significant reshaping of development banks’ mandates, governance, and risk management systems.

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The use of equity incentives is significantly greater in countries with stronger insider trading restrictions, and these higher incentives are associated with higher total pay. These findings are robust to alternative definitions of insider trading restrictions and enforcement, and to panel regressions with country fixed effects. We also find significant increases in top executive pay and the use of equity-based incentives in the period immediately following the initial enforcement of insider trading laws. We conclude that insider trading laws are one channel through which cross-country differences in pay practices can be explained.

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Industry observers have long warned of the “invisible” costs of fund trading, yet evidence that these costs matter is mixed because many studies do not account for the largest trading-cost component—price impact. Using portfolio holdings and transaction data, the authors found that funds’ annual trading costs are, on average, higher than their expense ratio and negatively affect performance. They also developed an accurate but computationally simple trading-cost proxy—position-adjusted turnover.

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We investigate the impact of political institutions on corporate risk-taking. We posit that the extent of political constraints on the government affect corporate risk-taking along both direct and indirect mechanisms. Using a large sample of non-financial firms from 77 countries covering the period from 1988 to 2008, we find that sound political institutions are positively associated with corporate risk-taking and that this relation is stronger when government extraction is higher. In a sub-sample of 45 countries, we also find that politically-connected firms engage in more risk-taking suggesting that close ties to the government lead to less conservative investment choices. Our results are economically significant and are robust to alternative risk-taking measures, various political institutions proxies, cross-sectional and country-level regressions, and endogeneity concerns of political institutions. Our results have important implications for governments and corporate managers by pointing to the direct relevance of political institutions to the corporate decision-making process. To encourage investment at the firm-level, and hence innovation and overall growth, governments need to undertake the necessary reforms to better control corruption and enforce contracts, and thus decrease government predation and extraction.

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Daily financial returns (and daily stock returns, in particular) are commonly modeled as GARCH(1, 1) processes. Here we test this specification using new model evaluation technology developed by Ashley and Patterson that examines the ability of the estimated model to reproduce features of particular interest: various aspects of nonlinear serial dependence, in the present instance. Using daily returns to the CRSP equally weighted stock index, we find that the GARCH(1, 1) specification cannot be rejected; thus, this model appears to be reasonably adequate in terms of reproducing the kinds of nonlinear serial dependence addressed by the battery of nonlinearity tests used here.

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This paper examines whether customer satisfaction is associated with key metrics from corporate bond markets - credit ratings and cost of debt financing. We draw on theory in marketing and finance to predict how customer satisfaction should be associated with both measures. To test our hypotheses, we employ the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) database of more than 150 publicly traded firms during the period from 1994 to 2004. We control for factors known to influence the bond market, such as firm profitability and risk, as well as potential unobservable factors. We find firms with lower customer satisfaction exhibit lower credit ratings and higher debt costs - financial benefits of customer satisfaction not previously observed. We also find both effects are attenuated by the inherent level of risk faced by the firm.

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Nonconstancy of the bispectrum of a time series has been taken as a measure of non-Gaussianity and nonlinear serial dependence in a stochastic process by Subba Rao and Gabr (1980) and by Hinich (1982), leading to Hinich's statistical test of the null hypothesis of a linear generating mechanism for a time series. Hinich's test has the advantage of focusing directly on nonlinear serial dependence—in contrast to subsequent approaches, which actually test for serial dependence of any kind (nonlinear or linear) on data which have been pre-whitened. The Hinich test tends to have low power, however, and (in common with most statistical procedures in the frequency domain) requires the specification of a smoothing or window-width parameter. In this article, we develop a modification of the Hinich bispectral test which substantially ameliorates both of these problems by the simple expedient of maximizing the test statistic over the feasible values of the smoothing parameter. Monte Carlo simulation results are presented indicating that the new test is well sized and has substantially larger power than the original Hinich test against a number of relevant alternatives; the simulations also indicate that the new test preserves the Hinich test's robustness to misspecifications in the identification of a pre-whitening model.

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This paper investigates the possible formation of informational cascades by traders in a random sample of 8,000 NYSE stock-days experiencing extreme price changes during 1998–2001. Our cascade measure is designed to detect informational cascades in high-frequency stock market prices. First, we find evidence of cascades on approximately 12% of the days when the NYSE experiences, on average, large price increases. This percentage increases to about 20% on days experiencing large price decreases, on average. Second, we find evidence that the interarrival times of trades in those stocks exhibiting significant informational cascades are generated by a nonlinear stochastic process. Third, the evidence supporting cascades is largely confined to smaller stocks and to stocks followed by fewer security analysts. Last, the occurrence of cascades appears to correlate with the incorporation of fundamental information into security prices.

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We develop a new methodology that controls for both the timing of annual earnings news (Asquith et al., 1989) and the performance prior to split announcements (Barber and Lyon, 1996) to evaluate the information content of stock splits. In contrast to existing evidence, we find that stock splits in aggregate are followed by positive abnormal future earnings growth, suggesting that stock splits contain information about future, rather than past, operating performance. When we use changes in breadth of institutional ownership as a new metric of information content to corroborate our findings, we find that splits with the greatest increase in breadth experience positive post-split abnormal returns and positive abnormal earnings growth. Together, our results suggest that some splits contain positive information about future performance, and that sophisticated market participants such as institutional investors are able to select these splits.

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We examine the relation between analyst forecast characteristics and the cost of debt financing. Consistent with the view that the information contained in analysts’ forecasts is economically significant across asset classes, we find that analyst activity reduces bond yield spreads. We also find that the economic impact of analysts is most pronounced when uncertainty about firm value is highest (i.e., those with high idiosyncratic risk). Our results are robust to controls for the amount of private information in equity prices and the level of corporate disclosures. Overall, our the results indicate that the information contained in analyst forecasts is valued outside the equity market and provide an additional channel in which better information is associated with a lower cost of capital.

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This paper examines the impact of currency derivatives on firm value using a broad sample of firms from thirty-nine countries with significant exchange-rate exposure. Derivatives can be used for managers’ self-interest, for hedging or for speculative purposes. We hypothesize that investors can appeal to a firm’s internal (firm-level) and external (country-level) corporate governance to draw inferences on a firm’s motive behind the use of derivatives, since well-governed firms are more likely to use derivatives to hedge rather than to speculate or pursue managers’ self-interest. Consistent with this explanation, we find strong evidence that the use of currency derivatives for firms that have strong internal firm-level or external country-level governance is associated with a significant value premium.

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Research suggests that firms can use either debt or dividends as a commitment device to mitigate the free cash flow problem. We hypothesize that firms which face limitations on debt may use increased dividend payments as a second-best bonding device. Limitations on debt are implicit in state laws that restrict the firm from making payouts when the asset-to-liability ratio is low. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that (i) firms incorporated in states with stricter payout restrictions pay more dividends, (ii) the probability of paying dividends or repurchasing shares decreases as firms approach their binding payout constraint, and (iii) bonding with dividends is less prevalent with increased managerial equity holdings. Further tests examining the relation between firm payout policy and payout restriction laws while controlling for antitakeover and director liability laws confirm our findings.

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There is a long running debate over whether competition in the mutual fund industry limits the ability of investment advisors to charge fees that are disproportionate to the services they provide. We posit that disproportionately high fees are prevalent in funds with multiple share classes and those with weak governance structures. Using a comprehensive sample of index mutual funds for the from 1998 to 2007, we find that internal governance mechanisms matter primarily for funds with relatively small share classes where investors often face increased search costs and/or restricted access to competitive mutual funds. Additionally, we find that funds managed by publicly held sponsors are associated with disproportionately higher fee spreads (about 28 basis points). The results are robust to the inclusion of board characteristics, share class structure, and investment objectives. Overall, our findings suggest that competition and agency considerations are important determinants in the pricing of mutual funds.

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This paper examines the impact of the strength of governance on firms' use of currency derivatives. Using a sample of firms from 30 countries over the period 1990 to 1999, we find that strongly governed firms tend to use derivatives to hedge currency exposure and overcome costly external financing. On the other hand, weakly governed firms appear to use derivatives mostly for managerial reasons. These results are robust to alternative measures of corporate governance, various subsamples, the use of foreign denominated debt as an alternative strategy to hedge currency exposure, and a potential selection bias. Overall, the results serve as the first comprehensive evidence of the impact of firm- and country-level corporate governance on firms' use of derivatives.

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This paper examines the impact of currency derivatives on firm value using a broad sample of firms from thirty-nine countries with significant exchange-rate exposure. Derivatives can be used for managers’ self-interest, for hedging or for speculative purposes. We hypothesize that investors can appeal to a firm’s internal (firm-level) and external (country-level) corporate governance to draw inferences on a firm’s motive behind the use of derivatives, since well-governed firms are more likely to use derivatives to hedge rather than to speculate or pursue managers’ self-interest. Consistent with this explanation, we find strong evidence that the use of currency derivatives for firms that have strong internal firm-level or external country-level governance is associated with a significant value premium.

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We examine whether short sellers in the equity market provide valuable information to investors in the bond market. Using a sample of publicly traded bond data covering the period from 1988 to 2011, we find that firms with high short interest have lower credit ratings and are more likely to have their ratings downgraded. We also find that firms with highly shorted stocks are associated with higher bond yield spreads (about 24 basis points). Evidence of causality from short interest spikes and a natural experiment based on the SEC’s Regulation SHO pilot program confirms our findings. Overall, our results suggest that equity short sellers provide predictive information to creditors in the bond market.

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We investigate the impact of political institutions on corporate risk-taking. Using a large sample of non-financial firms from 77 countries covering the period from 1988 to 2008, we find that sound political institutions are positively associated with corporate risk-taking, and that this relation is stronger when government extraction is higher. In a subsample of 45 countries, we also find that politically connected firms engage in more risk-taking, which suggests that close ties to the government lead to less conservative investment choices.
 Our results are economically significant, and are robust to alternative risk-taking measures, various political institution proxies, cross-sectional and country-level regressions, and endogeneity concerns of political institutions. Our results have important implications for governments and corporate managers by providing direct relevance of political institutions to the corporate decision-making process. To encourage investment at the firm level, and hence innovation and overall growth, governments need to undertake the necessary reforms to control corruption and enforce contracts better, and thus decrease government predation and extraction.

Link to Article

Abstract
Industry observers have long warned of the “invisible” costs of fund trading, yet evidence that these costs matter is mixed because many studies do not account for the largest trading-cost component—price impact. Using portfolio holdings and transaction data, the authors found that funds’ annual trading costs are, on average, higher than their expense ratio and negatively affect performance. They also developed an accurate but computationally simple trading-cost proxy—position-adjusted turnover.

Link to Article

The use of equity incentives is significantly greater in countries with stronger insider trading restrictions, and these higher incentives are associated with higher total pay. These findings are robust to alternative definitions of insider trading restrictions and enforcement, and to panel regressions with country fixed effects. We also find significant increases in top executive pay and the use of equity-based incentives in the period immediately following the initial enforcement of insider trading laws. We conclude that insider trading laws are one channel through which cross-country differences in pay practices can be explained.

Link to Article

Concludes that based on a review of the theoretical foundations of public guarantees, the commonly used justifications for public guarantees based solely on agency frictions on un-internalized externalities remain flawed. When idiosyncratic risk exists, justification of public guarantees depends solely on risk aversion. The state can spread risk more finely than markets by coordinating atomistic agents that would otherwise not organize themselves to solve monitoring or commitment problems. When systematic risk exists, the state adds value not by spreading the risk but by directly limiting it through better coordination among agents. In all cases, the analysis calls for exploiting more fully the natural complementarities between the state and the markets in bearing risk. In turn, this effort also requires overcoming agency frictions between the managers and the owners of development banks, a process that may entail a significant reshaping of development banks’ mandates, governance, and risk management systems.

Link to Article

This paper examines how corporate governance and executive compensation affected bank capitalization strategies for an international sample of banks in 2003-2011. "Good" corporate governance, which favors shareholder interests, is found to give rise to lower bank capitalization. Boards of intermediate size, separation of the chief executive officer and chairman roles, and an absence of anti-takeover provisions, in particular, lead to low bank capitalization. However, executive options and stock wealth invested in the bank are associated with better capitalization except just before the crisis in 2006. In that year, stock options wealth was associated with lower capitalization, which suggests that potential gains from taking on more bank risk outweighed the prospect of additional loss. Banks' tendencies to continue payouts to shareholders after experiencing negative income shocks are shown to reflect executive risk-taking incentives.

Link to Article

We analyze a sample of over 3,600 ex ante explicit severance pay agreements in place at 808 firms and show that firms set ex ante explicit severance pay agreements as one component in managing the optimal level of equity incentives. Younger executives are more likely to receive explicit contracts and better terms. Firms with high distress risk, high takeover probability and high return volatility are significantly more likely to enter into new or revised severance contracts. Finally, ex post payouts to managers are largely determined by the ex ante contract terms.

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Using bank level measures of competition and co-dependence, the authors show a robust positive relationship between bank competition and systemic stability. Whereas much of the extant literature has focused on the relationship between competition and the absolute level of risk of individual banks, in this paper we examine the correlation in the risk taking behavior of banks, hence systemic risk. The analysis finds that greater competition encourages banks to take on more diversified risks, making the banking system less fragile to shocks. Examining the impact of the institutional and regulatory environment on systemic stability shows that banking systems are more fragile in countries with weak supervision and private monitoring, high government ownership of banks, and in countries with public policies that restrict competition. Furthermore, lack of competition has a greater adverse effect on systemic stability in countries with generous safety nets and weak supervision.

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This paper examines time-series and cross-country variations in default risk co-dependence in the global banking system. The authors construct a default risk measure for all publicly traded banks using the Merton contingent claim model, and examine the evolution of the correlation structure of default risk for more than 1,800 banks in more than 60 countries. They find that there has been a significant increase in default risk co-dependence over the three-year period leading to the financial crisis. They also find that countries that are more integrated, and that have liberalized financial systems and weak banking supervision, have higher co-dependence in their banking sector. The results support an increase in scope for international supervisory co-operation, as well as capital charges for "too-connected-to-fail" institutions that can impose significant externalities.

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The standard measures of distress risk ignore the fact that firm defaults are correlated and that some defaults are more likely to occur in bad times. We use risk premium computed from corporate credit spreads to measure a firm’s exposure to systematic variation in default risk. Unlike previously used measures, the credit risk premium explicitly accounts for the non-diversifiable component of distress risk. In contrast to prior findings in the literature, we find that stocks with higher systematic default risk exposures, have higher expected equity returns which are largely explained by the Fama-French risk factors. We confirm the robustness of these results by using an alternative systematic default risk factor for firms that do not have bonds outstanding.

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Deposit insurance is widely offered in a number of countries as part of a financial system safety net to promote stability. An unintended consequence of deposit insurance is the reduction in the incentive of depositors to monitor banks which lead to excessive risk-taking. We examine the relation between deposit insurance and bank risk and systemic fragility in the years leading up to and during the recent financial crisis. We find that generous financial safety nets increase bank risk and systemic fragility in the years leading up to the global financial crisis. However, during the crisis, bank risk is lower and systemic stability is greater in countries with deposit insurance coverage. Our findings suggest that the “moral hazard effect” of deposit insurance dominates in good times while the “stabilization effect” of deposit insurance dominates in turbulent times. The overall effect of deposit insurance over the full sample we study remains negative since the destabilizing effect during normal times is greater in magnitude compared to the stabilizing effect during global turbulence. In addition, we find that good bank supervision can alleviate the unintended consequences of deposit insurance on bank systemic risk during good times, suggesting that fostering the appropriate incentive framework is very important for ensuring systemic stability.

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This paper studies intercreditor conflict arising from political interference in the bankruptcy process. The U.S. government’s intervention in the 2009 reorganizations of Chrysler and GM purportedly elevated claims of the auto union over those of the automakers’ senior creditors in violation of bankruptcy priority rules. Critics predicted that businesses would experience an increase in their borrowing costs because of the risk that politically-powerful junior claimants might now leap-frog other creditors. We examine the financial market where this effect would be most detectible, the market for bonds of highly unionized companies. We find no evidence that bondholders of unionized firms reacted negatively to the government intervention and reject the claim that investors viewed the reorganizations as establishing a precedent for priority jumping by organized labor.

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Using bank level measures of competition and co-dependence, we show a robust negative relationship between bank competition and systemic risk. Whereas much of the extant literature has focused on the relationship between competition and the absolute level of risk of individual banks, in this paper we examine the correlation in the risk taking behavior of banks. We find that greater competition encourages banks to take on more diversified risks, making the banking system less fragile to shocks. Examining the impact of the institutional and regulatory environment on bank systemic risk shows that banking systems are more fragile in countries with weak supervision and private monitoring, greater government ownership of banks, and with public policies that restrict competition. We also find that the negative effect of lack of competition can be mitigated by a strong institutional environment that allows for efficient public and private monitoring of financial institutions

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We examine the effect of aggregate cash flow news and discount rate news on momentum returns. We find that momentum profits are higher following aggregate positive cash flow news, even in down markets or low sentiment periods. This finding expands on the evidence in Cooper et al. (2004) that momentum is significant only when past market returns are non-negative and in Antoniou et al. (2013) that momentum is weaker when sentiment is pessimistic. We find that the higher momentum profits during aggregate positive cash flow news periods are primarily driven by the losers continuing to underperform in subsequent periods. Our findings are consistent with the Hong and Stein (1999) model in the sense that gradual diffusion of contradictory news is accentuated when change in wealth is positive and relatively more permanent.

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Although economic theory and conventional wisdom suggest that U.S. multinationals and export‐oriented firms are adversely affected by a strengthening dollar and benefit from a depreciating dollar, the research to date provides little evidence of any relationship between FX changes and the stock prices of such firms. The authors propose a “dual‐effect” hypothesis that distinguishes between (1) the direct competitive effect of currency induced changes on the effective price to consumers of the firm's products and (2) an indirect effect stemming from the generally positive correlations between currency levels and the strength of the domestic economy. Thus, for example, while a strong dollar hurts exports, it also tends to be associated with a strong domestic market and higher domestic sales. For this reason, the net effect on exporters of a stronger dollar could be close to zero. On the other hand, a weak dollar tends to have a “doubly” negative effect on importers because of higher import prices and the associated weakness of the local economy. For this reason, importers—in contrast to exporters—are likely to have significant exposures to currency fluctuations.
Consistent with these arguments, the authors' econometric analysis reveals a significantly positive currency exposure for importers and insignificant exposure for exporters, based on correlations between stock returns and currency changes. But when the benchmark is non‐exporting domestic firms instead of a marketwide index (which contains exporters), a stronger currency is associated with a significantly negative effect on exporters.

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Abstract We examine the impact of state payout restrictions on firms' credit ratings and bond yields. Using publicly traded bond data for a sample of large firms, we find that firms incorporated in states with more restrictive payout statutes (for example, New York and California) have better credit ratings and significantly lower yield spreads (about 8.7 percent) than do firms incorporated in less restrictive states (for example, Delaware). These results suggest that incorporation in a more restrictive state provides a credible commitment mechanism for avoiding some of the moral hazard problems associated with long‐term debt. This commitment corresponds to an economically and statistically significant difference in market yields and firm‐financing costs and is robust to controls for ownership, governance, debt type, Delaware or non‐Delaware incorporation, and covenant usage. Overall, our results are consistent with the notion that Delaware incorporation has hidden costs for some firms.

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This paper explores the relationship between information uncertainty and auditor reputation revealed by the failure of Arthur Andersen (AA). AA's reputation deteriorated considerably when it announced on January 10, 2002, that it had shredded documents related to its audit of Enron. AA's demise was sealed on March 14, 2002, with its indictment for obstruction of justice. We find that on these dates the clients of AA and other Big Five auditors that are characterized by higher information uncertainty experience relatively larger share price declines compared to clients with lower information uncertainty. The findings suggest that the market relies more heavily on auditor reputation for higher information uncertainty firms, which implies that the value of an audit is greater when a firm is harder to value. Our results highlight the importance of information uncertainty in financial markets: where there is a shock to auditor reputation, firms with greater information uncertainty suffer the largest losses.

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We find that, due to arbitrage around index changes, investors in S&P 500-linked funds lose between 0.03% and 0.12% annually, while investors in Russell 2000-linked funds lose between 1.30% and 1.84%. In dollar terms, the losses range from $3.75 billion to $6 billion a year for the two indexes together. These losses are an unexpected consequence of index fund investors evaluating index fund managers based on tracking error in an effort to control agency costs. Minimization of tracking error coupled with the predictability and/or pre-announcement of index changes creates the opportunity for a wealth transfer from index fund investors to arbitrageurs, particularly for Russell 2000-linked funds where the index changes are predictable. We propose solutions aimed at resolving the problem that can be implemented by indexing companies, index fund managers, or fund investors. Abstract We find that, due to arbitrage around index changes, investors in S&P 500-linked funds lose between 0.03% and 0.12% annually, while investors in Russell 2000-linked funds lose between 1.30% and 1.84%. In dollar terms, the losses range from $3.75 billion to $6 billion a year for the two indexes together. These losses are an unexpected consequence of index fund investors evaluating index fund managers based on tracking error in an effort to control agency costs. Minimization of tracking error coupled with the predictability and/or pre-announcement of index changes creates the opportunity for a wealth transfer from index fund investors to arbitrageurs, particularly for Russell 2000-linked funds where the index changes are predictable. We propose solutions aimed at resolving the problem that can be implemented by indexing companies, index fund managers, or fund investors.

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We show that out-of-sample tests used in the time-series predictability literature may suffer from test-size problems related to the common practice of exogenous specification of critical parameters, such as the choice of predictive variables, traded assets, and in-sample estimation periods. We perform specification searches across these parameters and find that rejections of the null hypothesis of no predictability are very sensitive to minor variations in parameter specification. We perform simulations using random factors to determine if the observed predictability in the data is real. The simulations suggest that much of the literatures' out-of-sample evidence of time-series based predictability is consistent with data-snooping.

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Creditor reliance on accounting-based debt covenants suggests that debtors are potentially concerned with board of director characteristics that influence the financial accounting process. In a sample of S&P 500 firms, we find that the cost of debt financing is inversely related to board independence and board size. We also examine the impact of audit committee characteristics on corporate yields spreads as audit committees are the direct mechanism that boards use to monitor the financial accounting process. We find that fully independent audit committees are associated with a significantly lower cost of debt financing. Similarly, yield spreads are also negatively related to audit committee size and the number of audit committee meetings. Overall, these results provide market-based evidence that boards and audit committees are important elements affecting the reliability of financial reports.

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We examine the relation between auditor characteristics (quality and tenure) and the cost of debt financing. Consistent with the hypothesis that audit characteristics are important to the capital markets, we find that (i) auditor quality and tenure are negatively and significantly related to the cost of debt financing, (ii) the relation between auditor characteristics and the cost of debt is most pronounced in firms with non-investment grade debt, and (iii) both the insurance and information role of audits are economically significant to the cost of debt. Overall, our results suggest that, through their dual roles of providing information and insurance, auditor quality and tenure matter to capital market participants.

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We examine the determinants of debt issuance in 10 major currencies by large U. S. firms. Using the fraction of foreign subsidiaries and tests exploiting the disaggregated nature of our data, we find strong evidence that firms issue foreign currency debt to hedge their exposure both at the aggregate and the individual currency levels. We also find some evidence that firms choose currencies in which information asymmetry between domestic and foreign investors is low. We find no evidence that tax arbitrage, liquidity of underlying debt markets, or legal regimes influence the decision to issue debt in foreign currency.

 

 

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The literature provides conflicting evidence on the relation between corporate international activity and the cost and level of debt financing. Based on this evidence, we explore the impact of firm international activity on debt financing. Using a market-based sample of U.S. firms, we find significant evidence of a non-monotonic relation between firm international activity and both the cost and level of debt financing. Specifically, we find that, contrary to prior research, firm international activity is associated with a 13% reduction in the cost of debt and a 30% increase in the level of debt financing.

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This article examines whether insiders use private information to time the exercises of their executive stock options. Before May 1991, insiders had to hold the stock acquired through option exercise for 6 months. Exercises from that regime precede significantly positive abnormal stock performance, suggesting the use of inside information to time exercises. By contrast, we find little evidence of such timing since insiders have been able to sell acquired shares immediately. Now, such timing should show up as negative abnormal stock returns after option exercise. However, we find negative stock performance only after exercises by top managers at small firms.

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This article is an exploratory examination of the benefits and risks associated with opening of stock markets. Specifically, we estimate changes in the level and volatility of stock returns, inflation, and exchange rates around market openings. We find that stock returns increase immediately after market opening without a concomitant increase in volatility. Stock markets become more efficient as determined by testing the random walk hypothesis. We find no evidence of an increase in inflation or an appreciation of exchange rates. If anything, inflation seems to decrease after market opening as do the volatility of inflation and volatility of exchange rates.

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This article is an exploratory examination of the benefits and risks associated with opening of stock markets. Specifically, we estimate changes in the level and volatility of stock returns, inflation, and exchange rates around market openings. We find that stock returns increase immediately after market opening without a concomitant increase in volatility. Stock markets become more efficient as determined by testing the random walk hypothesis. We find no evidence of an increase in inflation or an appreciation of exchange rates. If anything, inflation seems to decrease after market opening as do the volatility of inflation and volatility of exchange rates. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

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The link between asset valuations and investor sentiment is the subject of considerable debate in the profession. We address this question by examining how survey data on investor sentiment relates to i) long-horizon returns, and ii) asset valuations. If excessive optimism drives prices above intrinsic values, periods of high sentiment should be followed by low returns as market prices revert to fundamental values. We find this to be the case for the overall stock market at horizons of two to three years. The relation is strongest for large-capitalization, low book-to-market (growth) portfolios. We also examine the relation between sentiment levels and deviations from intrinsic value. Using errors from an independent pricing model, we find sentiment is positively related to valuation errors using a variety of tests. All of our results are robust to the inclusion of other factors that have been shown to forecast stock returns, including past returns.

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While research using stock prices has rejected the hypothesis that market power is important in motivating horizontal mergers, studies of airfares find evidence consistent with a dominant role of market power in airline mergers. I integrate the two lines of research by examining the same set of airline mergers from a capital market viewpoint. Further, I link changes in the stock market to changes in the product market, presenting a dual market perspective. I conclude that airline mergers result in both increased market power and more efficient operations. This article has implications for antitrust policy.

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This paper examines the intraday stock price reaction to substantial shifts in dividend policy. The results indicate the price reaction to be slower than that previously found by Patell and Wolfson (1984) and closer to that found with earnings announcements by Woodruff and Senchack (1988). Possible order flow imbalances are examined by looking at the proximity of transaction prices to contemporaneous bid and ask quotes. While order flow imbalances are evident for bad news announcements, this is not the case for the dividend increase sample. This is interpreted as evidence that the price reaction to major dividend increases are in general anticipated. Fifteen minute holding period returns are computed to measure the movement of equilibrium prices during the announcement period. Results show a rapid adjustment of prices to positive announcements with adjustment to negative announcements taking up to 75 minutes. Finally, fifteen minute lagged bid—ask returns are calculated to determine whether an investor could respond to the announcement and earn positive returns. These results are found to be dependent on the transaction cost assumptions being made.

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While research using stock prices has rejected the hypothesis that market power is important in motivating horizontal mergers, studies of airfares find evidence consistent with a dominant role of market power in airline mergers. I integrate the two lines of research by examining the same set of airline mergers from a capital market viewpoint. Further, I link changes in the stock market to changes in the product market, presenting a dual market perspective. I conclude that airline mergers result in both increased market power and more efficient operations. This article has implications for antitrust policy.

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This study's premise is that firms that can lower their costs and enhance their differentiation through the effective management of their human resources have a competitive advantage. Using data from 1986 through 1992, we examined the impact that announcements of U.S. Department of Labor awards for exemplary affirmative action programs had upon the stock returns of winning corporations and the effect that announcements of damage awards from the settlement of discrimination lawsuits had on the stock returns of corporations. The results suggest that announcements of awards may be associated with competitive advantage and that discrimination-related announcements may be associated with inability to achieve such advantage.

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This paper examines price changes associated with airline mergers during 1985-1988, a period of natural experimentation in which mergers were not contested by the government. The results show that prices increased on routes served by the merging firms relative to a control group of routes unaffected by the merger. Mergers may lead to more efficient operations, but on the whole, the impact of efficiency gains on airfares is more than offset by exercise of increased market power.

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We examine how a sample of publicly traded corporate bond issuers and institutional investors, namely corporate bond funds, assess the four major nationally recognized credit rating agencies and their role in capital markets. The results show that these issuers and institutional investors differ dramatically in their assessments about rating agencies. Specifically, the majority of institutional investors require, as a matter of formal policy, only one rating when they buy rated corporate bonds, but most issuers obtain two or more ratings. Issuers and institutional investors also differ in their assessments about whether ratings accurately reflect creditworthiness and whether agencies maintain timely ratings. In aggregate, the results suggest that differences between bond issuers and institutional investors reflect the different roles that rating agencies provide in the market place.

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The literature provides conflicting evidence on the relation between corporate international activity and the cost and level of debt financing. Based on this evidence, we explore the impact of firm international activity on debt financing. Using a market-based sample of U.S. firms, we find significant evidence of a non-monotonic relation between firm international activity and both the cost and level of debt financing. Specifically, we find that, contrary to prior research, firm international activity is associated with a 13% reduction in the cost of debt and a 30% increase in the level of debt financing.

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We propose a new model to estimate the term structure of interest rates using observed on-the-run Treasury yields. The new model is an improvement over models that require apriori knowledge of the shape of the yield curve to estimate the term structure. The general form of the model is an exponential function that depends on the estimation of four parameters fit by nonlinear least squares and has straightforward interpretations. In comparing the proposed model with current yield curve smoothing models, we find that, for the data used, the proposed model does best overall in terms of pricing accuracy both in-sample and out-of-sample.

 

 

 

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This article examines stock market volatility before and after the introduction of equity‐index futures trading in twenty‐five countries, using various models that account for asynchronous data, conditional heteroskedasticity, asymmetric volatility responses, and the joint dynamics of each country's index with the world‐market portfolio. We found that futures trading is related to an increase in conditional volatility in the United States and Japan, but in nearly every other country, we found either no significant effect or a volatility‐dampening effect. This result appears to be robust to model specification and is corroborated by further analysis of the relationship between volatility, trading volume, and open interest in stock futures. An increase in conditional covariance between country‐specific and world returns at the time of futures listing is also documented. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 20:661–685, 2000

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Since the early days of option pricing theory,the assumption that the dividends on the underlying stock or index over the life of the contract are known has not been challenged. We examine the sensitivity of index option prices to the assumption of dividend uncertainty. We consider a number of issues related to the forecasting of dividends and build a dividend forecasting model that passes several rigorous tests for unbiasedness. We then generate option prices using contemporary market levels and interest rates. We find that prices generated with the actual dividends are unbiased with respect to those generated using the forecasted dividends. The magnitudes of the forecast errors, however, are sufficiently large to suggest a concern, but the percentage errors are consistently small, typically amounting to less than two percent of the option price. We conclude that the convenient assumption that the stream of future dividendsis known is probably innocuous.

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The on-the-run term structure is generally estimated from yields on securities that sell at or near their par values. These yields can be obtained either from market data or from published estimates of par yields, known as constant maturity Treasury yields. The purpose of this research is to compare and contrast the use of constant maturity yields as an alternative to actual yields observed in the Treasury market. Based on a sample of month-end data covering the period January 1, 1990 to December 31, 1997, we find that constant maturity Treasury yields provide a significantly larger pricing error in term structure estimation than market Treasury yields both in-sample and out-of-sample. The results also suggest that the Department of Treasury can improve its estimation of constant maturity yields by using a continuous bootstrapping methodology based on an assumed functional form (e.g., Nelson and Siegel (1987)).

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The behavior of postwar real U.S. GNP, the inputs to an aggregate production function, and several formulations of the associated Solow residuals for the presence of nonlinearities in their generating mechanisms are examined. Three different statistical tests for nonlinearity are implemented: the McLeod-Li test, the BDS test, and the Hinich bicovariance test. We find substantial evidence for nonlinearity in the generating mechanism of real GNP growth but no evidence for nonlinearity in the Solow residuals. We further find that the generating mechanism of the labor input series is nonlinear, whereas that of the capital services input appears to be linear. We therefore conclude that the observed nonlinearity in real output arises from nonlinearities in the labor markets, not from nonlinearities in the technical shocks driving the system. Finally, we investigate the source of the nonlinearities in the labor markets by examining simulated data from a model of the Dutch economy with asymmetric adjustment costs.

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A number of different solutions have been proposed to deal with the Asian currency crisis. One proposal championed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to allow the currencies to float while seeking to maintain their value through tight monetary policy. A second proposal calls for restrictions on capital flows. A third is establishment of currency boards, which seek to stabilize a currency's value by “pegging” it to the value of another currency.

In examining each of these three alternatives, this article concludes that none offers a perfect solution. Capital controls are almost always bad, creating serious distortions throughout the economy and destroying investor confidence. Currency boards, as past experience suggests, can be effective in certain circumstances. Nevertheless, there are concerns that currency boards deprive countries of all policy flexibility (some of which could be helpful in coping with crises), are difficult to set up so as to maintain credibility, and may lack adequate reserves to instill confidence. Such concerns have stood in the way of using of currency boards in the cases of Russia and Indonesia.

Having expressed reservations about these two “more radical” solutions, this article closes by noting the main problem with the IMF's prescription of floating currencies: its insistence on high interest rates and tight monetary policy. Because high interest rates tend to be ruinous for the local economy—and their effectiveness in limiting currency depreciation in times of crisis is far from clear—the author argues that interest rates should be raised only to compensate for inflation. Consistent with the recent experience of Brazil, the best solution may be just to allow currencies to float with a relatively loose monetary policy.

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We reexamine the serial correlation of forecast errors using a method that allows analysts to react differently to good and bad news. Our method also controls for the influence of a normal non-zero, firm-specific component of forecast error. Our results indicate that forecast errors exhibit positive serial correlation when there is bad news in the prior forecast error, negative serial correlation when there is good news in the prior forecast error, and no serial correlation when there is no news in the prior forecast error. These findings are consistent with analysts having optimistic reactions to new information.

 

 

 

 

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This paper examines whether differences in investment opportunities and corporate ownership structure can explain the disparate findings of other researchers with regard to the market's price reaction to the announcement of international joint ventures. We study a sample of 320 joint ventures announced during the period 1987–92. The sample joint ventures involve at least one US partner and one or more international partners from emerging economies (former communist countries in Eastern Europe and China), as well as industrialized G7 countries. We find that international joint ventures are on average wealth creating when the foreign partner comes from an emerging economy but are wealth neutral when the partner is from an industrialized country. This finding supports the investment opportunity set hypothesis. However, we do not find support for the shareholder‐management alignment hypothesis in that higher insider holdings or a greater level of outsiders on the board for the US partner will lead to joint venture investments that are more highly valued by investors, other things remaining the same. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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This paper investigates the wealth effects of 134 divestments by 41 firms that underwent leveraged buyouts in the 1980s. Stock in these companies is privately owned. Bond returns for publicly traded debt are used to measure the wealth effects of the divestment announcement. These divestments are, on average, not associated with significant wealth effects for the full sample. However, firms that experience financial distress have negative and significant abnormal returns associated with their divestments, while returns in non-event months are insignificant. In contrast, non-distressed firms gain when asset sales are announced. The losses suffered by bondholders in distressed sellers are large and significant when core assets are divested. Bondholders in these firms do not suffer significant losses when non-core assets are divested. Finally, abnormal bond returns are related to the structure of the firms' post-buyout debt. Returns are negatively related to the use of private debt in the capital structure and positively related to the use of subordinated debt.

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Abstract We examine stock market reactions to commercial air crashes to test the hypothesis that consumers respond by switching to rival airlines and/or flying less. We focus on the stock price reactions of airlines not involved in the crash. If switching occurs, noncrash airlines should benefit to the extent that they are direct competitors of the crash airline. We develop a measure of market overlap and regress individual non‐crash‐airline abnormal returns on this measure, allowing the constant term to capture any negative spillovers. The evidence supports both a switching effect and a spillover.

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Although policymakers of emerging nations routinely brand foreign capital as “hot money” and hold it responsible for the ills of their economies, this article suggests that the experience of opening up their markets to overseas investors has been largely beneficial for the host countries. Based on their own recent study, the authors report that when emerging economies open their markets, the level of stock prices tends to rise without an associated increase in volatility, and more capital becomes available for domestic investment at a lower cost. The stock markets also appear to become more efficient, thus resulting in a better allocation of resources. Furthermore, the inflow of foreign capital does not lead to higher inflation or stronger currencies, nor does the volatility of inflation or exchange rates increase. If some countries experience large capital outflows with damaging consequences, the culprit is not foreign investors, but rather policymakers' futile attempt to defy market forces and the failure of their economies to put the capital to productive uses.

The authors' analysis also suggests that, when the recent turmoil in emerging markets is set in the context of a longer‐run historical perspective, nothing appears to have changed that would materially alter the prospects for investing in emerging markets. The recent market volatility and currency crises in emerging nations are by no means extraordinary—indeed, the currencies of many developing countries fall routinely. What distinguishes the Mexican and Thai currency crises from such run‐of‐the‐mill devaluations is that both governments resisted the inevitable until market forces brought about a crash. The recent emerging market currency crises should accordingly be viewed as more or less predictable “road bumps” that can be expected when the policymakers of emerging economies gradually—and grudgingly—relinquish their power to the markets.

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The common view of many regulators and practitioners is that the minimum risk maturity gap is equal to zero. However, because of the interest sensitivity of such non‐gap items as the average spread between asset and liability rates, lending activity, fee income and prepayments, the minimum risk gap could be significantly different from zero. We formulate and test a model for a sample of four hundred and twenty six thrift institutions. The results strongly suggest that the minimum risk maturity gap is positive for the average firm in the sample and that there is substantial cross‐sectional variability in the ratio of the minimum risk gap to assets. This suggests that attempts to regulate interest rate risk using a uniform gap as a benchmark are misdirected. Finally, we provide some evidence that there is, in fact, a positive cross‐sectional relationship between measured maturity gap positions and our estimates of the minimum risk maturity gap.

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Recent changes in the legal environment faced by US corporations suggest that the shareholder-manager conflict of interest, and the effectiveness of mechanisms to narrow this divergence, are issues of continuing importance. This study examines the linkages between institutional, market and legal mechanisms to control managerial discretion in management buyouts, and the circumstances under which each type of mechanism is effective. We find that these mechanisms do act to control managerial discretion in management buyouts to some degree. At the same time, there appear to be significant frictions which act to partially insulate managers from these types of governance, limiting their effectiveness. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Limits on managerial discretion in management buyouts: The effectiveness of institutional, market and legal mechanisms.

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The managed futures industry is an approximately $25 billion segment of the investment community. An increasing number of managed futures programs are being structured with multiple commodity trading advisors (CTAs). This article examines the effect of adding CTAs on the volatility of a portfolio consisting of varying allocations to futures, stocks, and bonds. The authors find that diversification is achieved with fewer managers than was previously thought and that it is impeded by using CTAs who specialize in technical and trend-following strategies.

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This paper develops an agency-cost framework for the simultaneous determination of a firm's capital structure and dividend decisions. In the model, simultaneity is contingent on the applicability of Easterbrook's (1984) monitoring rationale for paying dividends, which, in turn, is hypothesized to depend on the existence of alternative sources of monitoring. Estimations of the Rozeff (1982) specification for dividend payout for subsamples stratified according to the prevalence of non-dividend monitoring mechanisms and growth-induced capital market monitoring, confirm the sample-specific validity of the monitoring rationale. A simultaneous system of equations is then estimated and, consistent with our hypothesis, simultaneity between capital structure and dividend decisions is observed only for the subsample in which the monitoring rationale for dividends is found applicable.

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We conduct interviews with financial managers in Australia, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. to study the question why companies issue convertible bonds. For the vast majority of the firms, convertible bonds are chosen because managers find straight debt too costly. Convertible bonds are preferred to equity either because of the pecking order or because of managers’ perceived equity undervaluation and share dilution. Our results suggest that managers time the issuance of convertible bonds based on the demand of the investors and the misvaluation of the firms’ debt and equity. The evidence lends considerable support to the theory of management-investor differences in opinion about firm’s risk, but yields very little support to the theories of risk shifting, sequential financing, or backdoor equity.

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Jensen and Meckling (1976) suggest that security analysis monitoring serves to reduce the magnitude of agency costs present within the modern corporation. Moyer et al. (1989) provide evidence consistent with this hypothesis for a sample of publicly-traded American firms. In this study we examine the ability of Japanese corporate groupings or keiretsu to serve as an alternate mechanism for the control of agency conflicts. We find for independent firms in Japan that analyst following is directly related to the potential for agency conflict. We do not observe such a relationship, however, for keiretsu firms. Moreover, unlike independent firms, analyst following for keiretsu corporations is not related to the informational demands of investors. Overall, our evidence indicates that the practices of reciprocal equity ownership and the reliance on a common financier among keiretsu member firms mitigate the agency conflicts present within firms and produce more effective ways to channel information between members.

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This paper investigates the impact of the listing of options on the Nikkei Stock Average (NSA) on the volatility, bid-ask spread and trading volume for stocks listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Our results indicate that trading volume, volatility, and bid-ask spreads decline for the stocks contained in the Nikkei 225 Index after the listing of the index options. Cross-sectional regressions that control for changes in spread, volume, and price indicate that the options listing is associated with decreases in volatility for the index stocks. We conjecture that the observed results are consistent with the hypothesis that the advent of options trading causes a migration of speculative and market-wide information-oriented trading activity from the underlying market to the options market.

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The phenomenon of low‐balling reported in the financial press involves downward biased projections of earnings by managers or analysts, thereby artificially lowering market expectations and creating a positive earnings surprise when actual earnings are announced. This study reports that the stock market does respond to such surprises relative to analysts' reported forecasts. Further, the proportion of insider buy‐transactions in the period prior to the earnings forecast is significantly higher for the sample with high positive earnings surprise than for the control sample with zero forecast errors. The study cannot distinguish whether managers or analysts are the source of the low‐balling and therefore makes no statement on the legality of such insider trades.

 

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This paper examines the valuation consequences of external blockholdings. The stock market responses to announcement of block formations are positive, on average. Potential sources of gains to blockholders are identified, and the stock market responses are related cross-sectionally to firm-specific variables proxying for these sources and to blockholder-specific characteristics. The announcement period abnormal returns are explained by the potential for wealth transfer from bondholders, block size, and the identity of the blockholder. Changes in operating and performance variables following block formations provide weak evidence of hands-on monitoring by blockholders on an ongoing basis, suggesting that the observed value increases arise from expectations of future takeover gains and/or from limits on future opportunistic managerial behavior.

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