**Abstract**

Options traders use a pricing formula which they adapt by fudging and changing the tails and skewness by varying one parameter, the standard deviation of a Gaussian. Such formula is popularly called "Black-Scholes-Merton" owing to an attributed eponymous discovery (though changing the standard deviation parameter is in contradiction with it). However we have historical evidence that 1) Black, Scholes and Merton did not invent any formula, just found an argument to make a well known (and used) formula compatible with the economics establishment, by removing the "risk" parameter through "dynamic hedging", 2) Option traders use (and evidently have used since 1902) heuristics and tricks more compatible with the previous versions of the formula of Louis Bachelier and Edward O. Thorp (that allow a broad choice of probability distributions) and removed the risk parameter by using put-call parity. 3) Option traders did not use formulas after 1973 but continued their bottom-up heuristics. The Bachelier-Thorp approach is more robust (among other things) to the high impact rare event. The paper draws on historical trading methods and 19th and early 20th century references ignored by the finance literature. It is time to stop calling the formula by the wrong name.

]]>** Abstract**

Many important classes of assets are illiquid in the sense that they cannot always be traded immediately. Thus, a portfolio position in these types of illiquid investments becomes at least temporarily irreversible. We study the asset-pricing implications of illiquidity in a two-asset exchange economy with heterogeneous agents. In this market, one asset is always liquid. The other asset can be traded initially, but then not again until after a “blackout” period. Illiquidity has a dramatic effect on optimal portfolio decisions. Agents abandon diversification as a strategy and choose highly polarized portfolios instead. The value of liquidity can represent a large portion of the equilibrium price of an asset. We present examples in which a liquid asset can be worth up to 25 percent more than an illiquid asset even though both have identical cash flow dynamics. We also show that the expected return and volatility of an asset can change significantly as the asset becomes relatively more liquid.

]]>**Abstract**

Fundamental information resembles in many respects a durable good. Hence, the effects of its incorporation into stock prices depend on who is the agent controlling its flow. Like a durable goods monopolist, a monopolistic analyst selling information intertemporally competes against herself. This forces her to partially relinquish control over the information flow to traders. Conversely, an insider solves the intertemporal competition problem through vertical integration, thus exerting tighter control over the information flow. Comparing market patterns I show that a dynamic market where information is provided by an analyst is thicker and more informative than one where an insider trades.

**Keywords:** Information Sales, Analysts, Insider Trading, Durable Goods Monopolist.

**Abtsract**

I show that stock market shocks have important and lasting effects on the careers of MBAs. Stock market conditions while MBA students are in school have a large effect on whether they go directly to Wall Street upon graduation. Further, starting on Wall Street immediately upon graduation causes a person to be more likely to work there later and to earn, on average, substantially more money. The empirical results suggest that investment bankers are largely “made” by circumstance rather than “born” to work on Wall Street.

*Journal of Finance - December 2008*

**Clifford Lynch**- Next-Generation Implications of Open Access -
**Paul Ginsparg** - Web 2.0 in Science -
**Timo Hannay**

**Abstract**

This paper models transaction costs as the rents that a monopolistic market maker extracts from impatient investors who trade via limit orders. We show that limit orders are American options. The limit prices inducing immediate execution of the order are functionally equivalent to bid and ask prices, and can be solved for various transaction sizes to characterize the market makers entire supply curve. We find considerable empirical support for the model's predictions in the cross-section of NYSE …rms. The model produces unbiased, out-of-sample forecasts of abnormal returns for firms added to the S&P 500 index.

]]>**Abstract**

We use the information in CDO prices to study market expectations about how corporate defaults cluster. A three-factor portfolio credit model explains virtually all of the time-series and cross-sectional variation in an extensive data set of CDX index tranche prices. Tranches are priced as if losses of 0.4%, 6%, and 35% of the portfolio occur with expected frequencies of 1.2, 41.5, and 763 years, respectively. On average, 65% of the CDX spread is due to firm-specific default risk, 27% to clustered industry or sector default risk, and 8% to catastrophic or systemic default risk.

]]>**Abstract**

Building on Duffie and Kan (1996), we propose a new representation of affine models in which the state vector comprises infinitesimal maturity yields and their quadratic covariations. Because these variables possess unambiguous economic interpretations, they generate a representation that is globally identifiable. Further, this representation has more identifiable parameters than the “maximal” model of Dai and Singleton (2000). We implement this new representation for select three-factor models and find that model-independent estimates for the state vector can be estimated directly from yield curve data, which presents advantages for the estimation and interpretation of multi-factor models.

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