Accounting standards and information: inferences from cross-listed financial firms
Publicly traded financial firms within the European Union will be required to adhere to International Accounting Standards (IAS) in their financial reporting beginning in 2005, which can entail a higher degree of financial disclosure than was previously mandated under national accounting standards. A number of European financial firms had previously subjected themselves to additional disclosure by listing their stock on U.S. exchanges, which obligates them to reconcile their financial accounts to U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Among national accounting systems, U.S. ...
Good news is no news? The impact of credit rating changes on the pricing of asset-backed securities
We assess the impact of credit ratings on the pricing of structured financial products, using a sample of more than 1300 changes in Moody's or Standard and Poor's (S&P) ratings of U.S. asset-backed securities (ABS). We find that rating downgrades tend to be accompanied by negative returns and widening spreads, with the average effects stronger than those that have been reported in prior research on corporate and sovereign bond ratings. A portion of the negative implications of ABS downgrades are anticipated by price movements ahead of the rating action, although to a lesser degree than has ...
Sovereign CDS and bond pricing dynamics in emerging markets: does the cheapest-to-deliver option matter?
We examine the relationships between credit default swap (CDS) premiums and bond yield spreads for nine emerging market sovereign borrowers. We find that these two measures of credit risk deviate considerably in the short run, due to factors such as liquidity and contract specifications, but we estimate a stable long-term equilibrium relationship for most countries. In particular, CDS premiums tend to move more than one-for-one with yield spreads, which we show is broadly consistent with the presence of a significant "cheapest-to-deliver" (CTD) option. In addition, we find a variety of ...
Inflation, inflation risk, and stock returns
This paper investigates the empirical relation between inflation and stock returns in ten industrialized countries, with a focus on the implications for links between inflation and the macroeconomy. The stock return decomposition of Campbell and Shiller (1988) is used to determine the extent to which the negative contemporaneous stock return associated with a positive inflation surprise is due to (a) lower future real dividends and (b) higher future required real equity returns. The empirical results suggest that generally higher inflation is associated with both lower real dividends and ...
Look at me now: the role of cross-listing in attracting U.S. investors
We use a comprehensive 1997 survey to examine U.S. investors' preferences for foreign equities. We document a variety of firm characteristics that can influence U.S. investment, but the most important determinant is whether the stock is cross-listed on a U.S. exchange. Our selection bias-corrected estimates imply that firms that cross-list can increase their U.S. holdings by 8 to 11 percent of their market capitalization, roughly doubling the amount held without cross-listing. All else equal, we find that firms experience smaller increases in U.S. shareholdings upon cross-listing if they are ...
Are banks market timers or market makers? Explaining foreign exchange trading profits
We analyze the foreign exchange trading earnings of large U.S commercial banks over the past several years. In particular, we use several approaches to try to determine to what extent these profits can be attributed either to position-taking by banks or to the provision of intermediation services to bank customers. The results can be summarized as follows. First, banks appear to generate a substantial portion of their foreign exchange earnings from making markets in conventional spot and forward foreign exchange contracts. In addition, some indirect evidence supports anecdotal reports that ...
International Spillovers of Monetary Policy
This note presents a broad-brush overview of some of the salient issues on this topic and provides our sense of the answers to some key questions. We start by sketching out a simple framework for understanding how monetary policy actions spill over to other economies. The note then describes some back-of-the-envelope estimates of how U.S. monetary policy actions are transmitted overseas that we corroborate using a large-scale policy model (SIGMA). Finally, we discuss the implications of monetary policy spillovers for global economic stability, including the challenges posed by those ...
U.S. international equity investment
U.S. investors are the largest group of international equity investors in the world, but to date conclusive evidence on which types of foreign firms are able to attract U.S. investment is not available. Using a comprehensive dataset of all U.S. investment in foreign equities, we find that the single most important determinant of the amount of U.S. investment a foreign firm receives is whether the firm cross-lists on a U.S. exchange. Correcting for selection biases, cross-listing leads to a doubling (or more) in U.S. investment, an impact greater than all other factors combined. We also show ...
Inflation targeting in the 1990s: the experiences of New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom
We survey the recent experiences of three industrial countries -- New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom -- that have announced specific targets for inflation. Despite success on the part of the targeting central banks in attaining their inflation goals thus far, bond yields suggest that long-term inflation expectations for these countries persistently tended to exceed long-term targets throughout the first several years of targeting. For New Zealand and Canada, survey data generally implied that inflation also was expected to exceed its targeted level in the near term.
How consistent are credit ratings? a geographic and sectoral analysis of default risk
We examine differences in default rates by sector and obligor domicile. We find evidence that credit ratings have been imperfectly calibrated across issuer sectors in the past. Controlling for year of issue and rating, default rates appear to be higher for U.S. financial firms than for U.S. industrial firms. Sectoral differences in recovery rates do not offset the higher default rates. By contrast, we do not find significant differences in default rates between U.S. and foreign firms.