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High‐Frequency Trading and the New Stock Market: Sense And Nonsense

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

The stock market has been transformed during the last 25 years. Human suppliers of liquidity like the NASDAQ dealers and NYSE specialists have been replaced by algorithmic market making; stocks that once traded on a single venue now trade across twelve exchanges and a multitude of alternative trading systems. New venues like dark pools, and new participants like high‐frequency traders, have emerged to take on prominent roles. This new market has had more than its share of controversy and...

Shadow Banking, Risk Transfer, and Financial Stability

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

Shadow banking is the process by which banks raise funds from and transfer risks to entities outside the traditional commercial banking system. Many observers blamed the sudden expansion in 2007 of U.S. sub‐prime mortgage market disruptions into a global financial crisis on a “liquidity run” that originated in the shadow banking system and spread to commercial banks. In response, national and international regulators have called for tighter and new regulations on shadow banking products and...

Why European Banks Are Undercapitalized and What Should Be Done About It

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

Major European banks are significantly undercapitalized as compared to large American banks, and, more importantly, as compared to the capital levels they would need to survive another severe financial crisis. Bank capital shortfalls in Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, in particular, are largely the consequence of European bank regulations that: (1) apply static risk weights to assets like mortgages and sovereign debt; (2) fail to require an overall market‐based capital...

Bloomberg Intelligence Roundtable on The Theory and Practice of Capital Structure Management

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

Since the formulation of the M&M propositions almost 60 years ago, financial economists have been debating whether there is such a thing as an optimal capital structure—a proportion of debt to equity that maximizes shareholder value. Some finance scholars have followed M&M in arguing that both capital structure and dividend policy are largely “irrelevant” in the sense that they have no significant, predictable effects on corporate market values. Another school of thought holds that...

Leverage and Taxes: Evidence from the Real Estate Industry

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

Finance theory has long viewed corporate income taxes as a potentially important determinant of corporate financing decisions and capital structures. But finance academics have been unable to provide convincing empirical evidence of a material effect of taxes on corporate leverage, in part because of difficulties in constructing an effective proxy for marginal corporate tax rates, and hence for the tax benefits of debt, for large samples of individual companies.
The authors address this by...

Formulaic Transparency: The Hidden Enabler of Exceptional U.S. Securitization

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

Why does the securitization of residential mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and other such consumer debt in the U.S. exceed the securitization of such debt in Europe by several trillion dollars? The author points out that lemon problems do not stop the sale of used cars but they do prevent the operation of a market in which buyers place sight‐unseen bids for used cars offered by unknown sellers. Buyers prefer to know who the seller is and test‐drive vehicles. Similarly until the 1980s,...

How Investment Opportunities Affect Optimal Capital Structure

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

This article addresses the question of how competition for investments among companies in a certain industry affects their capital structure. The authors develop a new modelling framework that simulates financial variables of a set of firms in a given sector, and uses the framework to analyze how such firms compete for new investments. The leverage of companies affects their flexibility to react to and take advantage of investment opportunities, and the authors show how such flexibility can be...

How to Integrate ESG into Investment Decision‐Making: Results of a Global Survey of Institutional Investors

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

The authors review the findings of their global survey of 582 institutional investors that were either practicing or planning to practice some degree of integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into their investment decision‐making process. The investors were evenly split between asset owners and asset managers, equity and fixed income, and across the three regions of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The survey explored reasons for ESG...

Maximum Withdrawal Rates: A Novel and Useful Tool

February 20, 2018 by Journal of Applied Corporate Finance   Comments (0)

Even after accumulating a portfolio of investment assets, retirees still need to know how much of their wealth they can spend each year without risking running out of money before they die. Traditionally, financial advisers use extensive simulation to predict a “failure rate” (i.e. the probability of a retiree running out of money before they die). Unfortunately, the failure rate approach is flawed because strategies with the same failure rate may not be comparable overall. For example,...

What about beta?

February 20, 2018 by All About Alpha   Comments (0)

A View From CAIA By Bill Kelly, CAIA Association CEO Shadow or not, the groundhog brought volatility out of its burrow on February 2nd, and it is safe to say that it will persist for a lot longer than the six weeks of additional winter in the Northeast part ofRead More