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Jel Classification:G31 

Working Paper
Equity Financing Risk

A risk factor linked to aggregate equity issuance conditions explains the empirical performance of investment factors based on the asset growth anomaly of Cooper, Gulen, and Schill (2008). This new risk factor, dubbed equity financing risk (EFR) factor, subsumes investment factors in leading linear factor models. Most importantly, when substituted for investment factors, the EFR factor improves the overall pricing performance of linear factor models, delivering a significant reduction in absolute pricing errors and their associated t-statistics for several anomalies, including the ones ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-037

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

Report
The Effects of Leverage on Investments in Maintenance: Evidence from Apartments

This paper studies the sensitivity of investment in apartment building maintenance to building debt levels. I use a novel data set combining housing code violations from forty-five U.S. cities with apartment financing information to show that highly leveraged buildings tend to be less well maintained. I then exploit a natural experiment that effectively increases building leverage for some New York City rent-stabilized buildings, but not others. Following the shock, violations increase for affected buildings relative to unaffected buildings. This change in violations is concentrated among ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1000

Journal Article
Risk management, governance, culture, and risk taking in banks

This article examines how governance, culture, and risk management affect risk taking in banks. It distinguishes between good risks, which are risks that have an ex ante private reward for the bank on a standalone basis, and bad risks, which do not have such a reward. A well-governed bank takes the amount of risk that maximizes shareholder wealth, subject to constraints imposed by laws and regulators. In general, this involves eliminating or mitigating all bad risks to the extent that it is cost effective to do so. The role of risk management in such a bank is not to reduce the bank?s total ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Aug , Pages 43-60

Working Paper
High-Yield Debt Covenants and Their Real Effects

High-yield debt, including leveraged loans, is characterized by incurrence financial covenants, or “cov-lite” provisions. Unlike, traditional, maintenance covenants, incurrence covenants preserve equity control rights but trigger pre-specified restrictions on the borrower’s actions once the covenant threshold is crossed. We show that restricted actions impose significant constraints on investments: Similar to the effects of the shift of control rights to creditors in traditional loans, the drop in investment under incurrence covenants is large and sudden. This evidence suggests a new ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-5

Working Paper
The Real Effects of Credit Line Drawdowns

Do firms use credit line drawdowns to finance investment? Using a unique dataset of 467 COMPUSTAT firms with credit lines, we study the purpose of drawdowns during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Our data show that credit line drawdowns had already increased in 2007, precisely when disruptions in bank funding markets began to squeeze aggregate liquidity. Consistent with theory, our results confirm that firms use drawdowns to sustain investment after an idiosyncratic liquidity shock. Using an instrumental variable approach based on institutional features of credit line contracts, we find that ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-7

Discussion Paper
Assisting Firms during a Crisis: Benefits and Costs

Public and private efforts to reduce COVID-19 infection levels have led to a sharp drop in economic activity around the world. In an attempt to mitigate the damage to businesses, governments around the world have implemented a variety of financial programs to help firms. These programs have been criticized as interfering with markets, providing bailouts, and creating adverse incentives. In this article, I review both the rationale for government-provided assistance and the costs of providing that assistance from the perspective of how that aid effects the likely level and volatility of ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-10

Working Paper
Uncertainty, Financial Frictions, and Investment Dynamics

Micro- and macro-level evidence indicates that fluctuations in idiosyncratic uncertainty have a large effect on investment; the impact of uncertainty on investment occurs primarily through changes in credit spreads; and innovations in credit spreads have a strong effect on investment, irrespective of the level of uncertainty. These findings raise a question regarding the economic significance of the traditional "wait-and-see" effect of uncertainty shocks and point to financial distortions as the main mechanism through which fluctuations in uncertainty affect macroeconomic outcomes. The ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-69

Discussion Paper
The Banking Industry and COVID-19: Lifeline or Life Support?

By many measures the U.S. banking industry entered 2020 in good health. But the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the associated economic disruptions have caused unemployment to skyrocket and many businesses to suspend or significantly reduce operations. In this post, we consider the implications of the pandemic for the stability of the banking sector, including the potential impact of dividend suspensions on bank capital ratios and the use of banks’ regulatory capital buffers.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20201005

Working Paper
Innovation, investor sentiment, and firm-level experimentation

Due to frictions like informational externalities, firms invest too little in learning the productivity of newly available technologies through small-scale experimentation. I study the effect of investor sentiment on the relation between technological innovation and future firm-level R&D expenses, which include the resources used for small-scale experimentation. I find that rapidly improving investor sentiment strengthens the effect of technological innovation on one-year-ahead R&D expenses, and that the effect is more pronounced for high-tech firms with tighter financing constraints. The ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-67

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