Found 510 article(s) in category 'Financial Services'

The effect of automatic enrolment on debt

The effect of automatic enrolment on debt. John Beshears, David Laibson, September 17, 2019, Paper, “Automatic enrolment in defined contribution pension plans might be the most common policy application of behavioural economics. But does automatic enrolment increase pension savings at the expense of increased household debt? This column examines a natural experiment in which the US Army began automatically enrolling its civilian employees in its retirement savings plan. It finds strong evidence against the hypothesis that automatic enrolment increases financial distress and debt excluding auto loans and first mortgages.Link

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Collusion in Brokered Markets

Collusion in Brokered Markets. Scott Duke Kominers, September 7, 2019, Paper, “The U.S. residential real estate agency market presents a puzzle for economic theory: commissions on real estate transactions have remained constant and high for decades even though agent entry is frequent and agents’ costs of providing service are low. We model the real estate agency market, and other brokered markets, via repeated extensive form games; in our game, brokers first post prices for customers and then choose which agents on the other side of the market to work with. We show that prices appreciably higher than the competitive prices can be sustained (for a fixed discount factor) regardless of the number of brokers; this is done through strategies that condition willingness to transact with each broker on that broker’s initial posted prices. Our results can thus rationalize why brokered markets exhibit pricing high above marginal cost despite fierce competition for customers; moreover, our model can help explain why agents and platforms who have tried to reduce commissions have had trouble entering the market.Link

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Controlling the Long-Term Problem of Short-Term Funding

Controlling the Long-Term Problem of Short-Term Funding. Hal Scott, August 23, 2019, Paper, “While financial crises can be triggered by several causes, runs on short-term liabilities are at the heart of all financial crises, with the recent 2007–09 financial crisis being no exception. Given the unpredictability of crisis triggers and the overwhelming predictability of short-term funding’s role in financial crises, legislative and regulatory responses to the recent financial crisis should focus on the consequences of relying on short-term funding in the financial system. However, in addressing the problem of such funding, it is important to recognize the social benefits afforded by short-term liabilities and not simply the costs. To this end, this paper provides a brief overview of short-term funding in the U.S. financial system, while also highlighting the trade-off between the costs and benefits of short-term liabilities. The paper proceeds with an analysis of various proposals aimed at addressing the short-term funding issue.Link

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The Value of Intermediation in the Stock Market

The Value of Intermediation in the Stock Market. Marco Di Maggio, Mark Egan, August 2019, Paper, “Brokers continue to play a critical role in intermediating institutional stock market transactions. More than half of all institutional investor order flow is still executed by high-touch (non-electronic) brokers. Despite the continued importance of brokers, we have limited information on what drives investors’ choices among them. We develop and estimate an empirical model of broker choice that allows us to quantitatively examine each investor’s responsiveness to execution costs and access to research and order flow information. Studying over 300 million institutional trades, we find that investor demand is relatively inelastic with respect to commissions and that investors are willing to pay a premium for access to top research analysts and order-flow information. There is substantial heterogeneity across investors. Relative to other investors, hedge funds tend to be more price insensitive, place less value on sell-side research, and place more value on order-flow information. Furthermore, using trader-level data, we find that investors are more likely to trade with traders who are located physically closer and are less likely to trade with traders that have misbehaved in the past. Lastly, we use our empirical model to investigate the unbundling of equity research and execution services related to the MiFID II regulations. While under-reporting for the average firm is relatively small (4%), we find that the bundling of execution and research allows some institutional investors to under-report management fees by up to 15%.Link

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Market Reaction to Mandatory Nonfinancial Disclosure

Market Reaction to Mandatory Nonfinancial Disclosure. George Serafeim, August 8, 2019, Paper, “We examine the equity market reaction to events associated with the passage of a directive in the European Union (EU) mandating increased nonfinancial disclosure. These disclosures relate to firms’ environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, and would be applicable to firms listed on EU exchanges or with significant operations in the EU. We predict and find (i) an average negative market reaction of –0.79% across all firms, (ii) a less negative market reaction for firms having higher predirective nonfinancial performance, and (iii) a less negative reaction for firms having higher predirective nonfinancial disclosure levels. In addition, results are accentuated for firms having the most material ESG issues, as well as investors anticipating proprietary and political costs as a result of the mandated disclosures. Finally, we find that the negative market reaction is concentrated in firms with weak preregulation ESG performance and disclosure, which exhibit an average return of –1.54%; in contrast, firms with strong preregulation disclosure and performance exhibit an average positive return of 0.52%. Overall, the results are consistent with the equity market perceiving net costs (benefits) for firms with weak (strong) nonfinancial performance and disclosure around key events surrounding the mandatory disclosure regulation of nonfinancial information.Link

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Coordination Frictions in Venture Capital Syndicates

Coordination Frictions in Venture Capital Syndicates. Ramana Nanda, Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2019, Book Chapter, “A clear implication of these potential frictions is that entrepreneurs need to be careful about how to select and build the syndicate of VC investors that back their firm … 18–037). Harvard Business School…Link

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China’s Overseas Lending

China’s Overseas Lending. Carmen Reinhart, July 2017, Paper, “Compared with China’s dominance in world trade, its expanding role in global finance is poorly documented and understood. Over the past decades, China has exported record amounts of capital to the rest of the world. Many of these financial flows are not reported to the IMF, the BIS or the World Bank. “Hidden debts” to China are especially significant for about three dozen developing countries, and distort the risk assessment in both policy surveillance and the market pricing of sovereign debt. We establish the size, destination, and characteristics of China’s overseas lending. We identify three key distinguishing features. First, almost all of China’s lending and investment abroad is official. As a result, the standard “push” and “pull” drivers of private cross-border flows do not play the same role in this case. Second, the documentation of China’s capital exports is (at best) opaque. China does not report on its official lending and there is no comprehensive standardized data on Chinese overseas debt stocks and flows. Third, the type of flows is tailored by recipient. Advanced and higher middle-income countries tend to receive portfolio debt flows, via sovereign bond purchases of the People’s Bank of China. Lower income developing economies mostly receive direct loans from China’s state-owned banks, often at market rates and backed by collateral such as oil. Our new dataset covers a total of 1,974 Chinese loans and 2,947 Chinese grants to 152 countries from 1949 to 2017. We find that about one half of China’s overseas loans to the developing world are “hidden”.Link

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Real Credit Cycles

Real Credit Cycles. Andrei Shleifer, July 2019, Paper, “Recent empirical work has revived the Minsky hypothesis of boom-bust credit cycles driven by fluctuations in investor optimism. To quantitatively assess this hypothesis, we incorporate diagnostic expectations into an otherwise standard business cycle model with heterogeneous firms and risky debt. Diagnostic expectations are a psychologically founded, forward-looking model of belief formation that captures over-reaction to news. We calibrate the diagnosticity parameter using micro data on the forecast errors of managers of listed firms in the US. The model generates countercyclical credit spreads and default rates, while the rational expectations version generates the opposite pattern. Diagnostic expectations also offer a good fit of three patterns that have been empirically documented: systematic reversals of credit spreads, systematic reversals of aggregate investment, and predictability of future bond returns. Crucially, diagnostic expectations also generate a strong fragility or sensitivity to small bad news after steady expansions. The rational expectations version of the model can account for the first pattern but not the others. Diagnostic expectations offer a parsimonious account of major credit cycles facts, underscoring the promise of realistic expectation formation for applied business cycle modeling.” Link

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A Compact, Logical Approach to Large-Market Analysis

A Compact, Logical Approach to Large-Market Analysis. Scott Duke Kominers, June 26, 2019, Paper, “In game theory, we often use infinite models to represent “limit” settings, such as markets with a large number of agents or games with a long time horizon. Yet many game-theoretic models incorporate finiteness assumptions that, while introduced for simplicity, play a real role in the analysis. Here, we show how to extend key results from (finite) models of matching, games on graphs, and trading networks to infinite models by way of Logical Compactness, a core result from Propositional Logic. Using Compactness, we prove the existence of man-optimal stable matchings in infinite economies, as well as strategy-proofness of the man-optimal stable matching mechanism. We then use Compactness to eliminate the need for a finite start time in a dynamic matching model. Finally, we use Compactness to prove the existence of both Nash equilibria in infinite games on graphs and Walrasian equilibria in infinite trading networks.Link

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Harvard Business School Broadcast (Podcast)

Harvard Business School Broadcast (Podcast). Jan Rivkin, George Serafeim, William Kerr, June 20, 2019, Audio, “Bloomberg Businessweek Editor Joel Weber talks about Businessweek Best B-Schools rankings. Scott Sperling, Co-President at Thomas Lee Partners, explains why companies are taking longer to go public. Sal Khan, Founder of Khan Academy, talks about launching a partnership with NWEA. John Connaughton, Co-Managing Partner at Bain Capital, discusses opportunities in private equity investing. Jan Rivkin, Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School, talks about the HBS MBA program. George Serafeim, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, shares his thoughts on ESG and impact investing. Kelley Morrell, Head of Tactical Opportunities at Blackstone, talks opportunities beyond traditional private equity. Bill Kerr, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, discusses managing the future of work. Jonathan Nelson, Founder and CEO at Providence Equity, talks about investing in live events and the value of content. Hosts: Carol Massar and Jason Kelly. Producer: Paul Brennan.Link

 

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