Successful private equity managers have funds that are often oversubscribed and provide persistent abnormal returns. Why do not successful managers increase fund size or fees? We argue that managers want to attract high-quality entrepreneurs, while entrepreneurs want to match with high-ability managers. However, observing fund performance does not allow entrepreneurs to distinguish a manager’s ability from the quality of firms in the fund’s portfolio. As a consequence, a fund manager may devote unobserved effort to select firms, and keep fund size small to limit the cost of effort, hoping to manipulate entrepreneurs’ beliefs about his ability.
We investigate the relationship between market power and risk for a large panel of banks worldwide. Loan and deposit market power are measured separately at bank-year level, and the risk effect of market power is conditioned on several factors predicted by theory. Both loan and deposit market power have a stable, monotonically negative effect on risk, irrespective of risk measure. The effect is larger for asset risk, and is independent of charter value and capital ratios. The effect on default risk tends to decrease in the quality of banking regulation, whereas the conditioning effects of deposit insurance protection are mixed.
We study the joint responses of commodity future prices and positions of various trader groups to changes of the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) before and after the recent financial crisis. Financial traders reduced their net long positions during the crisis in response to market distress, whereas hedgers facilitated this by reducing their net short positions as prices fell. This “convective risk flow” induced by the greater distress of financial institutions led to a change in the allocation of risk with hedgers holding more risk than they did previously. The presence of such a risk flow confirms the market impact of financial traders conditional on trades they initiate.
Conventional wisdom holds that small banks have comparative advantages vis-à-vis large banks in serving small firms, while recent literature suggests this may not be the case. Using a panel of recent US start-ups, we investigate how small bank presence affects these firms in normal times (2004–06) and in the recent financial crisis (2007–09). We find that greater small bank presence yields significantly more lending to and slightly lower failure rates of these firms during normal times. However, these benefits disappear during the financial crisis, possibly because small banks are less diversified and benefit less from government guarantees than large banks.