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Jel Classification:G30 

Report
Financial visibility and the decision to go private

A large fraction of the companies that went private between 1990 and 2007 were fairly young public firms, often with the same management team making the crucial restructuring decisions both at the time of the initial public offering (IPO) and the buyout. Why did these public firms decide to revert to private ownership? To answer this question, we investigate the determinants of the decision to go private over a firm's entire public life cycle. Our evidence reveals that firms with declining growth in analyst coverage, falling institutional ownership, and low stock turnover were more likely to ...
Staff Reports , Paper 376

Working Paper
Cash Windfalls and Acquisitions

This article studies the effect of cash windfalls on the acquisition policy of companies. As identification I use a German tax reform that permitted firms to sell their equity stakes tax-free. Companies that could realize a cash windfall by selling equity stakes see an increase in the probability of acquiring another company by 19 percent. I find that these additional acquisitions destroy firm value. Following the tax reform, affected firms experience a decrease of 1.2 percentage points in acquisition announcement returns. These effects are stronger for larger cash windfalls. My findings are ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1159

Working Paper
Options, Equity Risks, and the Value of Capital Structure Adjustments

We use exchange-traded options to identify risks relevant to capital structure adjustments in firms. These forward-looking market-based risk measures provide significant explanatory power in predicting net leverage changes in excess of accounting data. They matter most during contractionary periods and for growth firms. We form market-based indices that capture firms' magnitudes of, and propensity for, net leverage increases. Firms with larger predicted leverage increases outperform firms with lower predicted increases by 3.1% to 3.9% per year in buy-and-hold abnormal returns. Finally, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-097

Working Paper
Tying loan interest rates to borrowers' CDS spreads

We investigate how the introduction of market-based pricing, the practice of tying loan interest rates to credit default swaps, has affected borrowing costs. We find that CDS-based loans are associated with lower interest rates, both at origination and during the life of the loan. Our results also indicate that banks simplify the covenant structure of market-based pricing loans, suggesting that the decline in the cost of bank debt is explained, at least in part, by a reduction in monitoring costs. Market-based pricing, therefore, besides reducing the cost of bank debt, may also have adverse ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-70

Working Paper
Does Intergenerational Mobility Increase Corporate Profits?

We find that firms located in areas with higher intergenerational mobility are more profitable. Building off the work of Chetty and Hendren (2018a and 2018b)?who provide measures of intergenerational mobility for all commuting zones (essentially, metropolitan areas) within the U.S.?we are the first to show the positive association between intergenerational mobility and corporate profitability. Our regressions compare firms in the same industry at the same point in time and fully control for time-varying state-level shocks. As such, our findings cannot be explained by either differences in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-081

Working Paper
Branching Networks and Geographic Contagion of Commodity Price Shocks

This paper studies the role of banks' branching networks in propagating the oil shocks. Banks that were exposed to the oil shocks through their operations in oil-concentrated counties experienced a liquidity drainage in the form of a declining amount of demand deposit inflow as well as an increasing percentage of troubled loans. Banks were forced to sell liquid assets, and contracted lending to small businesses and mortgage borrowers in counties that were not directly affected by the oil shocks. The effect is magnified when banks do not have strong community ties, but is mitigated if banks' ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-034

Working Paper
Pipeline Risk in Leveraged Loan Syndication

Leveraged term loans are typically arranged by banks but distributed to institutional investors. Using novel data, we find that to elicit investors' willingness to pay, arrangers expose themselves to pipeline risk: They have to retain larger shares when investors are willing to pay less than expected. We argue that the retention of such problematic loans creates a debt overhang problem. Consistent with this, we find that the materialization of pipeline risk for an arranger reduces its subsequent arranging and lending activity. Aggregate time series exhibit a similar pattern, which suggests ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-048

Working Paper
The Credit Crunch and Fall in Employment during the Great Recession

We study the existence and economic significance of bank lending channels that affect employment in U.S. manufacturing industries. In particular, we address the question of how a dramatic worsening of firm and consumer access to bank credit, such as the one observed over the Great Recession, translates into job losses in these industries. To identify these channels, we rely on differences in the degree of external finance dependence and of asset tangibility across manufacturing industries and in the sensitivity of these industries' output to changes in the supply of consumer credit. We show ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-06

Working Paper
Contracting with Feedback

We study the effect of financial market conditions on managerial compensation structure. First, we analyze the optimal pay-for-performance in a model in which corporate decisions and firm value are both endogenous to trading due to feedback from information contained in stock prices. In a less frictional financial market, the improved information content of stock prices helps guide managerial decisions, and this information substitutes out part of the direct incentive provision from compensation contracts. Thus, the optimal pay-for-performance is lowered in response to reductions in market ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1143

Journal Article
The Gordon Gekko effect: the role of culture in the financial industry

Culture is a potent force in shaping individual and group behavior, yet it has received scant attention in the context of financial risk management and the 2007-09 financial crisis. This article presents a brief overview of the role of culture as it is seen by psychologists, sociologists, and economists, and then describes a specific framework for analyzing culture in the context of financial practices and institutions. Using this framework, the author addresses three questions: (1) what is culture? (2) does it matter? and (3) can it be changed? He illustrates the utility of this framework by ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Aug , Pages 17-42

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