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Author:Sarkar, Asani 

Conference Paper
Liquidity and price shocks in futures markets
AUTHORS: Locke, Peter; Sarkar, Asani
DATE: 1995

Conference Paper
Financial innovation and corporate default rates
Corporate default rates have been unusually low in recent years, both relative to historical rates and to forecasts of economists and ratings agencies. We examine the hypothesis that financial innovation has provided new financing options for distressed firms, which are consequently able to postpone or avoid default. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that in recent years the incidence of early default has decreased, even after controlling for business cycle effects. Next, we estimate a model for predicting aggregate monthly defaults and find that, if financial innovation is ignored, there is evidence of a structural break in recent years. Focusing on the most recent sample, we find that increased structured financing (i.e., high-yield CLO and CDO issuances) predict increased distance to default. Moreover, the component of distance to default explained by financing is positively related to future defaults, whereas the residual unexplained part is negatively related to future defaults. In contrast, increased traditional financing (i.e., banks? commercial and industrial lending and commercial paper issuance) is negatively related to the distance to default. These results are consistent with more stringent monitoring of borrowers by traditional lenders. However, incorporation of both structured and traditional financing improves the default prediction model, especially in the recent sample. Our findings highlight the important role of financing in credit risk modeling and management.
AUTHORS: Maurer, Samuel; Wei, Chenyang; Nguyen, Hoai-Luu; Sarkar, Asani
DATE: 2009-01

Journal Article
Securities trading and settlement in Europe: issues and outlook
The institutional arrangements for trading and settling securities in Europe remain fragmented along national lines, making cross-border trading costly. Consolidation efforts are under way, however, and major market centers have now emerged in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Although the restructuring of trading and settlement systems should bring the European Community closer to its goal of a single capital market, changes in corporate governance and the competitive environment may raise significant regulatory issues.
AUTHORS: Kambhu, John; Radecki, Lawrence J.; Mahoney, James M.; Goldberg, Linda S.; Sarkar, Asani
DATE: 2002-04

Journal Article
Should U.S. investors hold foreign stocks?
U.S. investors have traditionally been reluctant to acquire foreign securities_in part, perhaps, because they fear that restrictions on trading in foreign markets will sharply limit any gains they might realize from diversifying their portfolios. An analysis of the effects of one type of restriction, short-sale constraints, on stock returns between 1976 and 1999 suggests that investing in emerging market stocks offers substantial benefits even when a ban on short sales is in place.
AUTHORS: Sarkar, Asani; Li, Kai
DATE: 2002-03

Journal Article
Electronic trading on futures exchanges
Although the open outcry method is still the best way to trade highly active contracts on futures exchanges, electronic systems can improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of trading some types of futures and options. In recent years, the volume of electronic trades on futures exchanges has more than doubled, and it should continue to grow rapidly.
AUTHORS: Tozzi, Michelle; Sarkar, Asani
DATE: 1998-01

Journal Article
Securitizing property catastrophe risk
The trading of property catastrophe risk using standard financial instruments such as options and bonds enables insurance companies to hedge their exposure by transferring risk to investors, who take positions on the occurrence and cost of catastrophes. Although these property catastrophe risk instruments are relatively new products, they have already established an important link between the insurance industry and the U.S. capital market.
AUTHORS: Sarkar, Asani; Borden, Sara
DATE: 1996-08

Journal Article
The global financial crisis and offshore dollar markets
Facing a shortage of U.S. dollars and a growing need to support their dollar-denominated assets during the financial crisis, international firms increasingly turned to the foreign exchange swap market and other secured funding sources. An analysis of the ensuing strains in the swap market shows that the dollar "basis"--the premium international institutions pay for dollar funding--became persistently large and positive, chiefly as a result of the higher funding costs paid by smaller firms and non-U.S. banks. The widening of the basis underscores the severity and breadth of the crisis as markets designed to facilitate the flow of dollars faltered and institutions worldwide struggled to obtain funds.
AUTHORS: Sarkar, Asani; Nguyen, Hoai-Luu; Hrung, Warren B.; Coffey, Niall
DATE: 2009-10

Journal Article
Components of U.S. financial sector growth, 1950-2013
The U.S. financial sector grew steadily as a share of the total business sector from 1959 until the recent financial crisis, when the trend reversed. In this article, the authors develop measures based on firm-level data to estimate the size of the financial sector and its subsectors relative to the total business (financial and nonfinancial) sector over time. The analysis further sheds light on how these size measures are affected by a firm?s choice of financing (whether public or private), firm size, industry type, use of leverage, and regulation. The authors find that the relative size of finance is smaller when only publicly listed firms are included. Financial firms are more prevalent among large firms than among small firms, with the relative size of finance being two to three times bigger in the large firm sample than in the small firm sample within any period and for any measure. While large financial firms on average grew only at moderately higher rates than smaller financial firms, large traditional banks grew substantially faster than their smaller counterparts. Shadow banks increased rapidly in size at the expense of traditional banks, becoming a significant portion of the financial sector in the mid-1990s and peaking just before the crisis. Overall, the results show that both the pre-crisis growth and the crisis-era decline mainly occurred in opaque, complex, and less-regulated subsectors of finance.
AUTHORS: Antill, Samuel; Sarkar, Asani; Hou, David
DATE: 2014-12

Journal Article
The failure resolution of Lehman Brothers
This study examines the resolution of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in order to clarify the sources of complexity in its resolution and to inform the debate on appropriate resolution mechanisms for financial institutions. The authors focus on the settlement of Lehman?s creditor and counterparty claims, especially those relating to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, where much of the complexity of Lehman?s bankruptcy resolution was rooted. They find that creditors? recovery rate was 28 percent, below historical averages for firms comparable to Lehman. Losses were exacerbated by poor bankruptcy planning and mitigated by timely funding from the Federal Reserve. The settlement of OTC derivatives was a long and complex process, occurring on different tracks for different groups of derivatives creditors. Consequently, the resolution process was less predictable than expected, and it was difficult to obtain an informed view of the process.
AUTHORS: Fleming, Michael J.; Sarkar, Asani
DATE: 2013-12

Journal Article
Financial amplification mechanisms and the Federal Reserve’s supply of liquidity during the crisis
New York Fed economists Asani Sarkar and Jeffrey Shrader examine the Federal Reserve?s recent liquidity actions in the context of studies on financial amplification mechanisms, whereby an initial financial sector shock triggers substantially larger shocks elsewhere in the sector and in the broader economy. Presented at "Central Bank Liquidity Tools and Perspectives on Regulatory Reform" a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, February 19-20, 2009.
AUTHORS: Shrader, Jeffrey; Sarkar, Asani
DATE: 2010-08

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