Market makers' supply and pricing of financial market liquidity
This study models the bid-ask spread in financial markets as a function of asset price variability and order flow. The market-maker is characterized as passively accepting orders to buy and to sell a security at the market's prevailing price (plus or minus half the bid-ask spread). The bid-ask spread adjusts to cover market-makers' average costs. The bid-ask spread then varies positively with: the security's price volatility, the volatility of order flow, and the absolute value of the market-maker's net inventory position. Each of these variables increases average cost and hence is priced in ...
Bank derivative activity in the 1990s
This paper tries to grasp banks' motivation for entering derivative markets. The motivation question is interesting for the following reason: if banks' main motivation for using derivatives is speculation, derivatives are likely to increase the risk to banks' capital and thus increase the cost of deposit insurance. ; The first major finding of the paper is that currently available data are not informative of banks' usage of derivatives. We find no evidence that derivatives are mainly used for speculation purposes. There is some indication that users of derivatives are interested in expanding ...
Market timing strategies that worked
In this paper, we present a few simple market-timing strategies that appear to outperform the "buy-and-hold" strategy, with real-time data from 1970 to 2000. Our focus is on spreads between the E/P ratio of the S&P 500 index and interest rates. Extremely low spreads, as compared to their historical ranges, appear to predict higher frequencies of subsequent market downturns in monthly data. We construct "horse races" between switching strategies based on extremely low spreads and the market index. Switching strategies call for investing in the stock market index unless spreads are ...
Do the spreads between the E/P ratio and interest rates contain information on future equity market movements?
We examine the usefulness of the spreads between the e/p ratio of the S&P 500 index and the yields on 3-month and 10-year Treasury securities as indicators of future market conditions. We find that while spreads are not particularly useful in a regression framework, the extreme values of the spreads do contain information on the market outlook. Specifically, for the period of 1967 to 1997, portfolios that only invested in the stock index when the spreads were above their historical tenth percentile levels produced higher average returns (not statistically significant) and lower variances ...
Breathing room for beta
This paper argues that a test of beta insignificance, commonly used in empirical studies of the CAPM, predisposes studies toward rejecting the CAPM. Under the null hypothesis of these tests, the CAPM is false. Consequently, insufficient evidence to reject the null is taken as sufficient evidence to reject the CAPM. Simulations suggest that this framework typically leads to false rejection rates of more than 1/2. An alternative test, with a null hypothesis consistent with the CAPM, is proposed. Based on statistics from published studies, the proposed test does not reject the CAPM.
The P/E ratio and stock market performance
The U.S, stock market entered 2000 with five consecutive years of exceptional gains. The S&P 500 index gained more than 18 percent each of these five years, and its value tripled since 1995.> Concern has arisen recently that the stock market may be headed for a downturn because firms' share prices have become very high relative to their earnings. Analysts who hold this view point out that, in the past, high price-earnings ratios have usually been followed by slow growth in stock prices. Other analysts argue that history is no longer a true guide because fundamental changes in the economy have ...
Benefits and limitations of inflation indexed Treasury bonds
In recent years, members of Congress and academia have repeatedly urged the U.S. Treasury to issue some portion of its debt in the form of inflation indexed bonds. With an indexed bond, the interest and maturity value are adjusted by the rate of inflation over the life of the bond. Because the cash flow of an indexed bond is adjusted for inflation, the bond's real value does not vary with inflation, protecting investors and issuers alike from inflation risk.> Inflation indexed bonds would be a fundamental innovation in U.S. financial markets, providing benefits to investors, the Treasury, and ...
Why has the nonfinancial commercial paper market shrunk recently?
The total volume of nonfinancial commercial paper outstanding peaked in the fall of 2000 and has declined rapidly ever since. By September 2002, the market had shrunk more than 50 percent. Relative to historical patterns, both the magnitude and the timing of the decline are unusual. The decline is the largest on record, and the market started to shrink before the recent recession began. In the past, the volume of commercial paper outstanding tended to increase during the early stages of recessions. ; Commercial paper is an important source of external funding for corporate borrowers and has ...