Examining the patterns of goodwill impairments in Europe and the US


Accounting in Europe

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Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Goodwill, Impairment, IFRS 3, IAS 36, Europe, US

We examine the patterns of goodwill impairments in Europe and in the US over the period from 2006 to 2015, for a sample of more than 35,000 firm-year observations. We define the timeliness of goodwill impairments as the frequency of accounting impairments conditional to indications of economic impairments. We measure indications of economic impairment with three metrics: equity market value minus equity book value less than goodwill, market-to-book smaller than one, and negative EBITDA. Our research strategy leads us to draw very different conclusions than those in the recent EFRAG (2016) study. While median levels of goodwill on the books between US and European firms are relatively similar, we find several indications that US firms recognize timelier impairments, at least during 2008 and 2009, i.e., the early years of the financial crisis. We further document that US impairers write down a much greater percentage of their beginning balance of goodwill than European impairers. During the financial crisis, the median level of impairment by US firms was 63% of opening goodwill in 2008 and 40% in 2009, whereas median European write-downs were only 6% and 7% of goodwill, respectively. Even though European firms are more likely to impair over multiple years, the cumulative impairments never come close to the level of US firms, be it in a single year or cumulative over multiple years. We also find that the frequency of accounting impairment is small compared to the number of firms presenting evidence of economic impairment: only 20 to 25% of firms recognize impairments depending on the measure of economic impairment. This has often been interpreted by academics as a sign of untimely write-offs. Accounting differences between US GAAP and IFRS are unlikely to explain our results. One caveat of our analysis is that it does not allow us to draw conclusions on whether the observed differences between US and European firms are driven by differences in conditional conservatism and/or big bath accounting practices

Fair and Equitable Treatment in Investor-State Dispute Settlement: A New Interpretative Framework


Journal of Business Law

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Départements : Droit et fiscalité, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The fair and equitable treatment (FET) standard has become the cornerstone of investor-state dispute settlement, and one of the most disputed notions in international business law. With investors facing increasing uncertainty, and states moving closer to denouncing treaties they see as limiting their sovereign right to regulate, FET has come to pose a significant risk to the entire investor-state dispute resolution system. This paper outlines an alternative way to consider FET, by acknowledging its thick and indeterminate character as a legal standard. It argues that previous traditional taxonomies have inherent limitations, and that practitioners should instead seek to understand the FET standard through the lens of the rule of law. The paper offers an analysis of the jurisprudence of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to show that three principles of the rule of law – due process, legal certainty, and the prohibition of arbitrariness – constitute an operational and certain, yet flexible framework of interpretation for the application of the FET standard

Financial Transaction Taxes, Market Composition, and Liquidity


The Journal of Finance

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Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Financial transaction tax, institutional trading, liquidity, high-frequency trading

We use the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT) in France in 2012 to test competing theories on the impact of FTTs. We find no support for the idea that an FTT improves market quality by affecting the composition of trading volume. Instead, our results are in line with the idea that a lower trading volume reduces liquidity, and thereby market quality. Consistent with theories of asset pricing under transaction costs, we document a shift in security holdings from short-term to long-term institutional investors. More generally, our findings confirm that moderate aggregate effects on market quality can mask large adjustments made by individual market participants

Financing Investment: The Choice between Bonds and Bank Loans


Management Science

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Départements : Finance

Mots clés : Debt structure, Capital structure, Investment, Credit supply, Competition,

We build a model of investment and financing decisions to study the choice between bonds and bank loans in a firm's marginal financing decision and its effects on corporate investment. We show that firms with more growth options, higher bargaining power in default, operating in more competitive product markets, and facing lower credit supply are more likely to issue bonds. We also demonstrate that, by changing the cost of financing, these characteristics affect the timing of investment. We test these predictions using a sample of U.S. firms and present new evidence that supports our theory

Health Cost Risk: A Potential Solution to the Annuity Puzzle


Economic Journal

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Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Life-cycle portfolio choice;retirement;post-retirement investment

We find that health cost risk lowers optimal annuity demand at retirement. If medical expenses can be sizeable early in retirement, full annuitisation at retirement is no longer optimal because agents do not have enough time to build a liquid wealth buffer. Furthermore, large deviations from optimal annuitisation levels lead to small utility differences. Our results suggest that health cost risk can explain a large proportion of empirically observed annuity choices. Finally, allowing additional annuitisation after retirement results in welfare gains of at most 2.5% when facing health cost risk, and negligible gains without this risk

How Do Firm Political Connections Impact Foreign Acquisitions? The Effects of Decision Makers’ Political and Firm Embeddedness


Global Strategy Journal

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Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

How Much Do Means Tested Benefits Reduce the Demand for Annuities?


Journal of Pension Economics and Finance

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Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Means-Tested Benefits, Occupational Pension, Annuity

We analyze the effect of means-tested benefits on annuitization decisions using an administrative dataset of pension wealth cash-out choices. Availability of means-tested payments creates an incentive to cash out pension wealth for low and middle income earners, instead of taking the annuity. Agents trade off the advantages from annuitization, receiving longevity risk insurance, to the disadvantages, giving up “free” wealth in the form of means-tested supplemental income. Our life-cycle model demonstrates that the availability of means-tested benefits substantially reduces the desire to annuitize especially for low and intermediate levels of pension wealth. In our empirical analysis we show that the model’s predicted fraction of retirees choosing the annuity is able to match the annuitization pattern of occupational pension wealth observed in Switzerland

Impact of Average Rating on Social Media Endorsement: The Moderating Role of Rating Dispersion and Discount Threshold


Information Systems Research

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Départements : Informations Systems and Operations Management, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Introduction to Global Law, Legal Indicators and Legal Pragmatism


Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law

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Départements : Droit et fiscalité

Inventory allocation models for a two-stage, twoproduct, capacitated supplier and retailer problem with random demand


International Journal of Production Economics

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Départements : Informations Systems and Operations Management, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : supply chain management, inventory management, capacity allocation, heuristic methods

The objective of this research is to develop an optimal inventory allocation methodology for a supply chain consisting of a capacitated retailer with limited shelf space, and two unreliable capacitated suppliers in an uncertain environment. We develop conceptual and analytical models that provide allocation preferences between shelf-space and warehouse in both deterministic and stochastic demand cases, and develop managerial insights based on them. For each case, we provide both a closed-form solution and a heuristic method, and illustrate the bounds on the optimal solution. Further, we show that the cost function is L-convex in some cases. Finally, we prove that the expected profit decreases as the variance of demand increases