The positive relationship between money flows into investment products and their return performance is an important market indicator for market practitioners and academics. This article studies the impact that active versus passive investment styles have on this relationship. We further evaluate the effects of a passive approach in two crucial stages: portfolio selection and asset allocation. We find that a passive investment style in either stage weakens the relationship between flows and returns compared with an active style. However, the investment style in the asset allocation stage has a greater effect than in the portfolio selection stage, on the relationship between flows and returns.
Although growth opportunities fade and profitability declines as firms mature, older firms are no more likely to be acquired than young firms are. This article documents and explains that phenomenon. We argue that, because mature organizations are rationally less flexible, they are more costly to integrate and therefore comparatively unattractive acquisition candidates. The evidence supports this explanation of the negative age dependence of takeover hazard. The evidence also shows that negative exogenous shocks to merger benefits further reduce the takeover hazard of mature firms. We test many alternative explanations and find no evidence that they can explain the hazard decline.
We propose a model of limited arbitrage based on financial relationships. Financially constrained arbitrageurs may choose to seek additional financing from banks that have the technology to profit from the strategies themselves. A holdup problem arises because banks cannot commit to providing capital. To minimize competition, arbitrageurs will choose to stay constrained and underinvest in the arbitrage unless banks have sufficient reputational capital. This problem arises when mispricing is largest. More competition among financiers, higher arbitrageur wealth, and allowing for explicit contracts can worsen the holdup problem. When arbitrage is risky, financial relationships are more valuable, mitigating the problem.
We show how to reverse-engineer banks’ risk disclosures, such as value-at-risk, to obtain an implied measure of their exposures to equity, interest rate, foreign exchange, and commodity risks. Factor implied risk exposures are obtained by breaking down a change in risk disclosure into a market volatility component and a bank-specific risk exposure component. In a study of large US and international banks, we show that (i) changes in risk exposures are negatively correlated with market volatility and (ii) changes in risk exposures are positively correlated across banks, which is consistent with banks exhibiting commonality in trading.
This article studies the connection between risk taking and executive compensation in financial institutions. A model of shareholders, debtholders, depositors, and an executive demonstrates that (i) excess risk taking can be addressed by basing compensation on both stock price and the credit default swaps (CDS) spread, (ii) shareholders may not be able to commit to design such contracts, and (iii) they may not want to due to distortions from deposit insurance or unobservable tail risk. The advantage of using the CDS spread rather than deferred compensation or debt is due to the fact that it is a market price and reduces agency costs.
In emerging economies, institutional and regulatory constraints can distort loan contracting and, hence, the incentives of lenders and borrowers. Studying the South Korean syndicated loan market, we find that during the 90s the safety net protecting business groups (chaebols)—especially the government’s bailout policy—affected the structure and pricing of loans to chaebol firms. However, after the chaebol reform of the late 90s dismantled the chaebol safety net, the differences in loan contracts between chaebol and non-chaebol firms narrowed or disappeared. The results suggest that the reform restored lenders’ incentives to monitor chaebol firms and properly assess their risk.
We propose a regime-switching present-value model with latent variables to jointly investigate the predictability of stock returns and dividend growth. We find that both return predictability and dividend growth predictability are time-varying. Interestingly, the predictability of stock returns and dividend growth is a tug-of-war contest: when dividend growth is highly predictable in the high-volatility regime, stock returns are largely unpredictable; in contrast, when dividend growth is less predictable in the low-volatility regime, stock returns are significantly predictable. We also investigate macroeconomic determinants of regime switches and find that two regimes are intimately related to macroeconomic risk and economic activity.