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Jel Classification:G11 

Working Paper
Divest, Disregard, or Double Down?

How much, if at all, should an endowment invest in a firm whose activities run counter to the charitable missions the endowment funds? Endowments typically disregard the objectionable nature of or divest from such firms. However, if firm returns increase with activities the endowment combats, doubling down on the investment increases expected utility by aligning funding availability with need. I call this "mission hedging." This paper offers the first model that characterizes the endowment's investment decision on the objectionable firm, defines investment trade-offs, and examines related ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-042

Report
Buyout activity: the impact of aggregate discount rates

Buyout booms form in response to declines in the aggregate risk premium. We document that the equity risk premium is the primary determinant of buyout activity rather than credit-specific conditions. We articulate a simple explanation for this phenomenon: a low risk premium increases the present value of performance gains and decreases the cost of holding an illiquid investment. A panel of U.S. buyouts confirms this view. The risk premium shapes changes in buyout characteristics over the cycle, including their riskiness, leverage, and performance. Our results underscore the importance of the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 606

Working Paper
When Uncertainty and Volatility Are Disconnected: Implications for Asset Pricing and Portfolio Performance

We analyze an environment where the uncertainty in the equity market return and its volatility are both stochastic and may be potentially disconnected. We solve a representative investor's optimal asset allocation and derive the resulting conditional equity premium and risk-free rate in equilibrium. Our empirical analysis shows that the equity premium appears to be earned for facing uncertainty, especially high uncertainty that is disconnected from lower volatility, rather than for facing volatility as traditionally assumed. Incorporating the possibility of a disconnect between volatility and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-063

Working Paper
Managing Counterparty Risk in OTC Markets

We study how banks manage their default risk to optimally negotiate quantities and prices of contracts in over-the-counter markets. We show that costly actions exerted by banks to reduce their default probabilities are inefficient. Negative externalities due to counterparty concentration may lead banks to reduce their default probabilities even below the social optimum. The model provides new implications which are supported by empirical evidence: (i) intermediation is done by low-risk banks with medium initial exposure; (ii) the risk-sharing capacity of the market is impaired, even when the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-083

Newsletter
How Interconnected Are Cryptocurrencies and What Does This Mean for Risk Management

In the past couple of years, the market for digital currencies, commonly known as cryptocurrencies because transactions are verified using cryptography, has expanded significantly in terms of transaction volumes, market capitalization, and the number of digital currencies in existence. On January 1, 2018, the market capitalizations (market caps1) of Bitcoin and Ethereum were $226 billion and $75 billion, respectively. By May 10, 2021, Bitcoin’s market cap had reached almost $1 trillion and Ethereum’s $478 billion.In this article, I measure the market’s interconnections in term of prices ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 466 , Pages 5

Working Paper
Applications of Markov Chain Approximation Methods to Optimal Control Problems in Economics

In this paper we explore some of the benefits of using the finite-state Markov chain approximation (MCA) method of Kushner and Dupuis (2001) to solve continuous-time optimal control problems. We first show that the implicit finite-difference scheme of Achdou et al. (2017) amounts to a limiting form of the MCA method for a certain choice of approximating chains and policy function iteration for the resulting system of equations. We then illustrate the benefits of departing from policy function iteration by showing that using variations of modified policy function iteration to solve income ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-04

Working Paper
Household Financial Distress and the Burden of 'Aggregate' Shocks

The goal of this paper is to show that household-level financial distress (FD) varies greatly, meaning there is unequal exposure to macroeconomic risk, and that FD can increase macroeconomic vulnerability. To do this, we first establish three facts: (i) regions in the U.S. vary significantly in their "FD-intensity," measured either by how much additional credit households therein can access, or in how delinquent they typically are on debts, (ii) shocks that are typically viewed as "aggregate" in nature hit geographic areas quite differently, and (iii) FD is an economic "pre-existing ...
Working Paper , Paper 20-12

Working Paper
Monetary Policy Implementation and Private Repo Displacement : Evidence from the Overnight Reverse Repurchase Facility

In recent years, the scale and scope of major central banks' intervention in financial markets has expanded in unprecedented ways. In this paper, we demonstrate how monetary policy implementation that relies on such intervention in financial markets can displace private transactions. Specifically, we examine the experience with the Federal Reserve's newest policy tool, known as the overnight reverse repurchase (ONRRP) facility, to understand its effects on the repo market. Using exogenous variation in the parameters of the ONRRP facility, we show that participation in the ONRRP comes from ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-096

Working Paper
Systematic Cojumps, Market Component Portfolios and Scheduled Macroeconomic Announcements

This study provides evidence of common bivariate jumps (i.e., systematic cojumps) between the market index and style-sorted portfolios. Systematic cojumps are prevalent in book-to-market portfolios and hence, their risk cannot easily be diversified away by investing in growth or value stocks. Nonetheless, large-cap firms have less exposure to systematic cojumps than small-cap firms. Probit regression reveals that systematic cojump occurrences are significantly associated with worse-than-expected scheduled macroeconomic announcements, especially those pertaining to the Federal Funds target ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-11

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, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-055

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