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 ...
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, ...
Why bail-in? And how!
All men are created equal, but all liabilities are not. Some liabilities are more equal than others. These "financial liabilities" are products of financial firms. These products shift risk (insurance or derivatives) or provide liquidity (bank deposits or repurchase agreements). Since these liabilities have an independent value as products, they are worth more than their net present value. The value of a financial firm, then, depends on its liability structure. These special liabilities therefore affect insolvency law. Most financial firms are governed by special insolvency law; those ...
Bank corporate governance: a proposal for the post-crisis world
The corporate governance problems of banks are qualitatively and quantitatively different from those of other firms. The authors argue that a key factor contributing to this difference is the growing opacity and complexity of bank activities, a trend that has increased the difficulty of managing risk in financial firms. They also cite the governance challenges posed by the holding company organization of banks, in which two boards of directors?the bank?s own board and the board of the holding company that owns the bank?monitor the bank. This paradigm results in significant confusion about the ...
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 ...
Small and Large Firms over the Business Cycle
Drawing from confidential firm-level data of US manufacturing firms, we provide new evidence on the cyclicality of small and large firms. We show that the cyclicality of sales and investment declines with firm size. The effect is primarily driven by differences between the top 0.5% of firms and the rest. Moreover, we show that, due to the skewness of sales and investment, the higher cyclicality of small firms has a negligible influence on the behavior of aggregates. We argue that the size asymmetry is unlikely to be driven by financial frictions given 1) the absence of statistically ...
What's Driving Leveraged Loan Spreads?
Syndicated loan spreads have declined since the financial crisis, reducing the cost of credit for corporate borrowers. However, the combination of aggressive loan pricing and weaker credit protections has concerned market observers. We find that syndicated loan spreads have declined across loan and borrower types since the crisis. We also find the decline has been more pronounced for highly leveraged borrowers and has accelerated since 2016, especially for term loans.
Incentive Contracting Under Ambiguity Aversion
This paper studies a principal-agent model in which the information on future firm performance is ambiguous and the agent is averse to ambiguity. We show that if firm risk is ambiguous, while stocks always induce the agent to perceive a high risk, options can induce him to perceive a low risk. As a result, options can be less costly in incentivizing the agent than stocks in the presence of ambiguity. In addition, we show that providing the agent with more incentives would induce the agent to perceive a higher risk, and there is a discontinuous jump in the compensation cost as incentives ...
Bank Liquidity Provision across the Firm Size Distribution
Using loan-level data covering two-thirds of all corporate loans from U.S. banks, we document that SMEs (i) obtain much shorter maturity credit lines than large ﬁrms; (ii) have less active maturity management and therefore frequently have expiring credit; (iii) post more collateral on both credit lines and term loans; (iv) have higher utilization rates in normal times; and (v) pay higher spreads, even conditional on other ﬁrm characteristics. We present a theory of loan terms that rationalizes these facts as the equilibrium outcome of a trade-off between commitment and discretion. We test ...
Private and Public Liquidity Provision in Over-the-Counter Markets
We show that trade frictions in OTC markets result in inefficient private liquidity provision. We develop a dynamic model of market-based financial intermediation with a two-way interaction between primary credit markets and secondary OTC markets. Private allocations are generically inefficient because investors and firms fail to internalize how their actions affect liquidity in secondary markets. This inefficiency can lead to liquidity that is suboptimally low or high compared to the second best. Our analysis provides a rationale for the regulation and public provision of liquidity and the ...