June, 2015 | Refinancing

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Archive for June, 2015

2015-046: Is the Intrinsic Value of Macroeconomic News Announcements Related to their Asset Price Impact?

June 30th, 2015

Thomas Gilbert, Chiara Scotti, Georg Strasser, and Clara Vega. The literature documents a heterogeneous asset price response to macroeconomic news announcements: Some announcements have a strong impact on asset prices and others do not. In order to explain these differences, we estimate a novel measure of the intrinsic value of a macroeconomic announcement, which we define as the announcement’s ability to nowcast GDP growth, inflation, and the Federal Funds Target Rate. Using the same nowcasting framework, we then decompose this intrinsic value into the announcement’s characteristics: its relation to fundamentals, timing, and revision noise. We find that in the 1998-2013 period, a significant fraction of the variation in the announcements’ price impact on the Treasury bond futures market can be explained by differences in intrinsic value. Furthermore, our novel measure of timing explains significantly more of this variation than the announceme
nts’ relation to fundamentals, reporting lag (which previous studies have used as a measure of timing), or revision noise.

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The ACA (Obamacare) Survives. But is it Actually Working?

June 30th, 2015

With last Thursday’s ACA Supreme Court ruling confirming that Congress intended to include subsidies for those on the federal exchange in addition to state exchanges, the ACA has now survived an election, two Supreme Court …

The ACA (Obamacare) Survives. But is it Actually Working?

[Read the rest of the story at 20somethingfinance.com]

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2015-045: Inflation Expectations and Monetary Policy Design: Evidence from the Laboratory

June 26th, 2015

Damjan Pfajfar and Blaz Zakelj. Using laboratory experiments within a New Keynesian framework, we explore the interaction between the formation of inflation expectations and monetary policy design. The central question in this paper is how to design monetary policy when expectations formation is not perfectly rational. Instrumental rules that use actual rather than forecasted inflation produce lower inflation variability and reduce expectational cycles. A forward-looking Taylor rule where a reaction coefficient equals 4 produces lower inflation variability than rules with reaction coefficients of 1.5 and 1.35. Inflation variability produced with the latter two rules is not significantly different. Moreover, the forecasting rules chosen by subjects appear to vary systematically with the policy regime, with destabilizing mechanisms chosen more often when inflation control is weaker.

Finance News

How Much Can Financial Literacy Help?

June 26th, 2015

We use a dataset of individual investors containing test-based measures of financial literacy and administrative records on their assets holding and trades before and during the financial crisis of September 2008. We design three tests of the benefits of financial literacy during the Global Financial Crisis, by comparing the decisions actually taken by individuals with a dominated alternative, i.e., one giving lower utility according to simple normative models of financial decision-making. We find that high-literacy investors are better at timing the market. High-literacy investors are also more likely to trade according to the prescriptions of normative models and to detect intermediaries’ potential conflicts of interest. However, though statistically significant, these effects are economically small.

Finance News

Performance Pay, CEO Dismissal, and the Dual Role of Takeovers

June 26th, 2015

We propose that an active takeover market provides incentives by offering acquisition opportunities to successful managers. This allows firms to reduce performance-based compensation and can rationalize loss-making acquisitions. When choosing its acquisition policy and the quality of its board, each firm ignores the adverse effect on other firms’ acquisition opportunities and takeover threat. As a result, the takeover market is not sufficiently liquid and too few takeovers occur. Furthermore, liquidity in the takeover and managerial labor markets are inversely related. When poaching managers becomes more profitable, firms invest more in board quality which in turn reduces the incidence of takeovers.

Finance News

The Profits-Leverage Puzzle Revisited

June 26th, 2015

The inverse relation between leverage and profitability is widely regarded as a serious defect of the trade-off theory. We show that the defect is not with the theory but with the use of a leverage ratio in which profitability affects both the numerator and the denominator. Profitability directly increases the value of equity. Firms do take the predicted offsetting actions. They issue debt and repurchase equity when profitability rises, and retire debt and issue equity when profitability falls. Consistent with variable transactions costs, the adjustment is not generally sufficient to fully undo the profitability shocks. Accordingly, on average the leverage ratio falls as profitability rises.

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The Effect of Earned Versus House Money on Price Bubble Formation in Experimental Asset Markets

June 26th, 2015

Does house money exacerbate price bubbles? We compare house money asset market experiments with an earned money treatment where initial portfolios are constructed from a real effort task. Bubbles occur; however, trading volumes and earnings dispersion are significantly higher with house money. We investigate the role of cognitive ability in accounting for the differences in earnings distribution across treatments by using the cognitive reflection test (CRT). Low CRT subjects earned less than high CRT subjects. Low CRT subjects were net purchasers (sellers) of shares when the price was above (below) fundamental value. The opposite was true for high CRT subjects.

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Acquiring Acquirers

June 26th, 2015

Target acquisitiveness stands out as one of the primary drivers of all the key aspects of the market for corporate takeovers: acquisition announcement returns, probability of deal success, propensity to acquire and be acquired. Acquisitive targets, though a small proportion of the sample, are responsible for half of the overall negative acquisition announcement returns. Our large body of empirical evidence consistently supports the view that the motivation behind acquisitions of acquisitive targets is defensive: acquirers “eat in order not to be eaten”.

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Emerging Equity Market Comovements: Trends and Macroeconomic Fundamentals

June 26th, 2015

Emerging equity markets have become increasingly interrelated over the past two decades. For a sample of thirty-two emerging markets from four different regions, we find significant positive time trends in cross-country correlations within regions, correlations across regions, and in comovements with the rest of the world. Furthermore, we examine the economic mechanisms that drive these trends. We find that official market liberalization, a continuous measure of equity market openness, equity market development, and to some extent, trade openness all play a role. However, we show important heterogeneity across regions, both in the speed at which comovements increase over time and in the underlying macroeconomic channels.

Finance News

The Impact of Dark Trading and Visible Fragmentation on Market Quality

June 26th, 2015

Two important characteristics of current equity markets are the large number of competing trading venues with publicly displayed order books and the substantial fraction of dark trading, which takes place outside such visible order books. This article evaluates the impact on liquidity of dark trading and fragmentation in visible order books. Dark trading has a detrimental effect on liquidity. Visible fragmentation improves liquidity aggregated over all visible trading venues but lowers liquidity at the traditional market, meaning that the benefits of fragmentation are not enjoyed by investors who choose to send orders only to the traditional market.

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