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Author:Aramonte, Sirio 

Working Paper
Innovation, investor sentiment, and firm-level experimentation
Due to frictions like informational externalities, firms invest too little in learning the productivity of newly available technologies through small-scale experimentation. I study the effect of investor sentiment on the relation between technological innovation and future firm-level R&D expenses, which include the resources used for small-scale experimentation. I find that rapidly improving investor sentiment strengthens the effect of technological innovation on one-year-ahead R&D expenses, and that the effect is more pronounced for high-tech firms with tighter financing constraints. The results are not driven by sentiment proxying for technological innovation or by sentiment and R&D expenses being jointly determined. The evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that sentiment counteracts frictions in the process of technology diffusion.
AUTHORS: Aramonte, Sirio
DATE: 2015-08-12

Working Paper
Institutions and return predictability in oil-exporting countries
We study whether stock market returns in oil-exporting countries can be predicted by oil price changes, and we investigate the link between predictability and the quality of each country's institutions. Returns are predictable for half the countries we consider, and predictability is stronger when institutional quality is lower. We argue that the relation between predictability and institutional quality reflects the preference of countries with weaker institutions to consume oil windfalls locally rather than smooth out the impact of windfalls by, for instance, investing the proceeds through a sovereign wealth fund.
AUTHORS: Aramonte, Sirio; Shugarman, Justin; Jahan-Parvar, Mohammad
DATE: 2015-02-18

Working Paper
Risk Taking and Low Longer-term Interest Rates: Evidence from the U.S. Syndicated Loan Market
We use supervisory data to investigate risk taking in the U.S. syndicated loan market at a time when longer-term interest rates are exceptionally low, and we study the ex-ante credit risk of loans acquired by different types of lenders, including banks and shadow banks. We find that insurance companies, pension funds, and, in particular, structured-finance vehicles take higher credit risk when investors expect interest rates to remain low. Banks originate riskier loans that they tend to divest shortly after origination, thus appearing to accommodate other lenders' investment choices. These results are consistent with a "search for yield" by certain types of shadow banks and, to the extent that Federal Reserve policies affected longer-term rates, the results are also consistent with the presence of a risk-taking channel of monetary policy. Finally, we find that longer-term interest rates have only a modest effect on loan spreads.
AUTHORS: Aramonte, Sirio; Lee, Seung Jung; Stebunovs, Viktors
DATE: 2015-07-22

Working Paper
Dynamic factor value-at-risk for large, heteroskedastic portfolios
Trading portfolios at Financial institutions are typically driven by a large number of financial variables. These variables are often correlated with each other and exhibit by time-varying volatilities. We propose a computationally efficient Value-at-Risk (VaR) methodology based on Dynamic Factor Models (DFM) that can be applied to portfolios with time-varying weights, and that, unlike the popular Historical Simulation (HS) and Filtered Historical Simulation (FHS) methodologies, can handle time-varying volatilities and correlations for a large set of financial variables. We test the DFM-VaR on three stock portfolios that cover the 2007-2009 financial crisis, and find that it reduces the number and average size of back-testing breaches relative to HS-VaR and FHS-VaR. DFM-VaR also outperforms HS-VaR when applied risk measurement of individual stocks that are exposed to systematic risk.
AUTHORS: Aramonte, Sirio; Rodriguez, Marius del Giudice; Wu, Jason J.
DATE: 2011

Working Paper
Measuring the Liquidity Profile of Mutual Funds
We measure the liquidity profile of open-end mutual funds using the sensitivity of their daily returns to aggregate liquidity. We study how this sensitivity changes around real-activity macroeconomic announcements that reveal large surprises about the state of the economy and after three relevant market events: Bill Gross's departure from PIMCO, Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund's suspension of redemptions, and the effect of Lehman Brothers' collapse on Neuberger Berman. Results show that, following negative news, the sensitivity to aggregate liquidity increases for less-liquid mutual funds, like those that invest in the stocks of small companies and in high-yield corporate bonds. The effect is more pronounced during stress periods, suggesting that a deterioration in the funds' liquidity could amplify vulnerabilities in situations of already weak macroeconomic conditions.
AUTHORS: Aramonte, Sirio; Scotti, Chiara; Zer, Ilknur
DATE: 2019-07

Working Paper
Assessing and combining financial conditions indexes
We evaluate the short horizon predictive ability of financial conditions indexes for stock returns and macroeconomic variables. We find reliable predictability only when the sample includes the 2008 financial crisis, and we argue that this result is driven by tailoring the indexes to the crisis and by non-synchronous trading. Financial conditions indexes are based on a variety of constituent variables and aggregation methods, and we discuss a simple procedure for consolidating the growing number of different indexes into a single proxy for financial conditions.
AUTHORS: Aramonte, Sirio; Rosen, Samuel; Schindler, John W.
DATE: 2013

Working Paper
Firm-Specific Risk-Neutral Distributions : The Role of CDS Spreads
We propose a method to extract individual firms' risk-neutral return distributions by combining options and credit default swaps (CDS). Options provide information about the central part of the distribution, and CDS anchor the left tail. Jointly, options and CDS span the intermediate part of the distribution, which is driven by moderate-sized jump risk. We study the returns on a trading strategy that buys (sells) stocks exposed to positive (negative) moderate-sized jump risk unspanned by options or CDS individually. Controlling for many known factors, this strategy earns a 0.5% premium per month, highlighting the economic value of combining options and CDS.
AUTHORS: Aramonte, Sirio; Schindler, John W.; Jahan-Parvar, Mohammad; Rosen, Samuel
DATE: 2017-08-31

Journal Article
Synthetic ETFs
Exchange traded funds (ETFs) achieve their investment objectives by either owning a portfolio of securities (physical ETFs) or entering into swap agreements that deliver the returns of pre-specified indexes (synthetic ETFs). In this note, we provide an overview of how synthetic ETFs work and analyze collateralization levels for a group of synthetic ETFs that voluntarily report their collateral baskets.
AUTHORS: Aramonte, Sirio; Caglio, Cecilia; Tuzun, Tugkan
DATE: 2017-08-10


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