Cahiers de recherche

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Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Banks heavily rely on wholesale funding – a source of funds characterized as unstable. We explore the actual fragility of wholesale funding using transaction-level data on short-term, unsecured certificates of deposits in the European market. We do not observe any freeze during a period that includes both the subprime crisis and the European sovereign crisis. Yet, many banks suddenly experience funding dry-ups. Banks with low future quality are more likely to face funding dry-ups, whereas banks with a high future quality tend to increase their reliance on wholesale funding in periods of stress. The reallocation of funds from low- to high-quality banks is inconsistent with theories based on adverse selection, and in line with theories of informed runs

Mots clés : bank run, wholesale funding, market freeze, certificates of deposits

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

I study the returns to investments in durable assets since the start of the twentieth century. These assets are generally characterized by relatively low capital gains and substantial price fluctuations. The rate of value appreciation has been more pronounced for collectibles, but transaction costs are very high in such markets as well. However, a rental income yield can add substantially to the returns on housing and land, and likewise owners of collectibles may receive a significant emotional dividend. Because of the lack of such an income or utility stream, gold, silver, and diamonds appear to have been particularly bad long-term investments (at least if not held in the form of jewelry). Finally, durable assets are unlikely to be good inflation hedges, but they may still help diversifying a portfolio because of the imperfect correlations with financial assets

Mots clés : returns; housing; land; art, collectibles; gold; silver; diamonds

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We propose a simple model in which investors price a stock using a persistent signal and sticky belief dynamics à la Coibion and Gorodnichenko (2012). In this model, returns can be forecasted using (1) past profits, (2) past change in profits, and (3) past returns. The model thus provides a joint theory of two of the most economically significant anomalies, i.e. quality and momentum. According to the model, these anomalies should be correlated, and be stronger when signal persistence is higher, or when earnings expectations are stickier. Using I/B/E/S data, we measure expectation stickiness at the analyst level. We find that analysts are on average sticky and, consistent with a limited attention hypothesis, more so when they cover more industries. We then find strong support for the model's prediction in the data: both the momentum and the quality anomaly are stronger for stocks with more persistent profits, and for stocks which are followed by stickier analysts. Consistently with the model, both strategies also comove significantly.

Mots clés : Stock market anomalies, Sticky expectations

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This note investigates the causes of the quality anomaly, which is one of the strongest and most scalable anomalies in equity markets. We explore two potential explanations. The "risk view", whereby investing in high quality firms is somehow riskier, so that the higher returns of a quality portfolio are a compensation for risk exposure. This view is consistent with the Efficient Market Hypothesis. The other view is the "behavioral view", which states that some investors persistently underestimate the true value of high quality firms. We find no evidence in favor of the "risk view": The returns from investing in quality firms are abnormally high on a risk-adjusted basis, and are not prone to crashes. We provide novel evidence in favor of the "behavioral view": In their forecasts of future prices, and while being overall overoptimistic, analysts systematically underestimate the future return of high quality firms, compared to low quality firms.

Mots clés : Quality anomaly, financial analysts misplaced focus, behavioral biases

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We propose a simple model of the sovereign-bank diabolic loop, and establish four results. First, the diabolic loop can be avoided by restricting banks’ domestic sovereign exposures relative to their equity. Second, equity requirements can be lowered if banks only hold senior domestic sovereign debt. Third, such requirements shrink even further if banks only hold the senior tranche of an internationally diversified sovereign portfolio – known as ESBies in the euro-area context. Finally, ESBies generate more safe assets than domestic debt tranching alone; and, insofar as the diabolic loop is defused, the junior tranche generated by the securitization is itself risk-free.

Mots clés : diabolic loop, sovereign debt crisis, government default, bank default, bailout, ESBies

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Firms reduce investment in response to non-fundamental drops in the stock price of their product-market peers, as predicted by a model in which managers rely on stock prices as a source of information but cannot perfectly filter out noise in prices. The model also implies the response of investment to noise in peers' stock prices should be stronger when these prices are more informative, and weaker when managers are better informed. We find support for these predictions. Overall, our results highlight a new channel through which non-fundamental shocks to the stock prices of some firms influence real decisions of other firms.

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper empirically investigates the portfolios of wealthy households and their implications for the dynamics of inequality. Using an administrative panel of all Swedish residents, we document that returns on financial wealth are on average 4% higher per year for households in the top 1% compared to the median household. These high average returns are primarily compensations for high levels of systematic risk. Abnormal risk-adjusted returns, linked for instance to informational advantages or exceptional investment skill, contribute only marginally to the high returns of the wealthy. Implications for inequality dynamics and public policy are discussed.

Mots clés : Household finance, inequality, risk-taking

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper develops a model in which traders receive a stream of private signals, and differ in their information processing speed. In equilibrium, the fast traders (FTs) quickly reveal a large fraction of their information, and generate most of the volume, volatility and profits in the market. If a FT is averse to holding inventory, his optimal strategy changes considerably as his aversion crosses a threshold. He no longer takes long-term bets on the asset value, gets most of his profits in cash, and generates a "hot potato" effect: after trading on information, the FT quickly unloads part of his inventory to slower traders. The results match evidence about high frequency traders

Mots clés : Trading volume, inventory, volatility, high frequency trading, price impact, mean reversion

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

How do crises affect Central clearing Counterparties (CCPs)? We focus on CCPs that clear and guarantee a large and safe segment of the repo market during the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. We start by developing a simple framework to infer CCP stress, which can be measured through the sensitivity of repo rates to sovereign CDS spreads. Such sensitivity jointly captures three effects: (1) the effectiveness of the haircut policy, (2) CCP member default risk (conditional on sovereign default) and (3) CCP default risk (conditional on both sovereign and CCP member default). The data show that, during the sovereign debt crisis of 2011, repo rates strongly respond to movements in sovereign risk, in particular for GIIPS countries, indicating significant CCP stress. Our model suggests that repo investors behaved as if the conditional probability of CCP default was very large

Mots clés : repurchase agreement, sovereign debt crisis, LTRO, secured money market lending

Départements : Finance

We study the dynamics of fund manager ownership for a sample of U.S. equity mutual funds from 2005 to 2011. We find that ownership changes positively predict changes in future risk-adjusted fund performance. A one-standard-deviation increase in ownership predicts a 1.6 percent increase in alpha in the following year. Fund managers who are required to increase their ownership by fund family policy show the strongest increase in alpha. They do so by increasing their trading activity in line with the view that higher ownership aligns interests of managers with those of shareholders and induces higher effort.

Mots clés : Mutual Funds, Fund Manager Ownership Changes, Fund Performance Predictability, Incentive Alignment, Superior Information