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Jel Classification:G32 

Journal Article
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 ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Dec , Pages 207-228

Journal Article
Cash holdings and bank compensation

The experience of the 2007-09 financial crisis has prompted much consideration of the link between the structure of compensation in financial firms and excessive risk taking by their employees. A key concern has been that compensation design rewards managers for pursuing risky strategies but fails to exact penalties for decision making that leads to bank failures, financial system disruption, government bailouts, and taxpayer losses. As a way to better align management's interests with those of other stakeholders such as creditors and taxpayers, the authors propose a cash holding requirement ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Aug , Pages 77-83

Journal Article
Deferred cash compensation: enhancing stability in the financial services industry

Employees in financial firms are compensated for creating value for the firm, but firms themselves also serve a public interest. This tension can lead to issues that could impose a significant risk to the firm and the public. The authors describe three channels through which deferred cash compensation can mitigate such risk: by promoting a conservative approach to risk, by inducing internal monitoring, and by creating a liquidity buffer. Ultimately, the net contribution of deferred cash pay to financial stability is the sum of the effects of the three channels. The authors argue that a ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Aug , Pages 61-75

Journal Article
Transparency, accounting discretion, and bank stability

This article examines the consequences of accounting policy choices for individual banks? downside tail risk, for the codependence of such risk among banks, and for regulatory forbearance, or the decision by a regulator not to intervene. The author synthesizes recent research that provides robust empirical evidence for two effects of discretionary accounting policy choices by banks. First, these choices degrade transparency, an outcome that increases financing frictions, inhibits market discipline of bank risk taking, and allows regulatory forbearance. Second, they exacerbate capital adequacy ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Aug , Pages 129-149

Journal Article
Public disclosure and risk-adjusted performance at bank holding companies

This article examines the relationship between the amount of information disclosed by bank holding companies (BHCs) and the BHCs? subsequent risk-adjusted performance. Using data from the annual reports of BHCs with large trading operations, the author constructs an index that quantifies the BHCs? public disclosure of forward-looking estimates of market risk exposure in their trading and market-making activities. She then examines the relationship between this index and subsequent risk-adjusted returns in the BHCs? trading activities and for the firm overall. The key finding is that more ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Aug , Pages 151-173

Report
The Great Leverage 2.0? A Tale of Different Indicators of Corporate Leverage

Many policymakers have expressed concerns about the rise in nonfinancial corporate leverage and the risks this poses to financial stability, since (1) high leverage raises the odds of firms becoming a source of adverse shocks, and (2) high leverage amplifies the role of firms in propagating other adverse shocks. This policy brief examines alternative indicators of leverage, focusing especially on the somewhat disparate signals they send regarding the current state of indebtedness of nonfinancial corporate businesses. Even though the aggregate nonfinancial corporate debt-to-income ratio is at ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Working Paper
Reach for Yield by U.S. Public Pension Funds

This paper studies whether U.S. public pension funds reach for yield by taking more investment risk in a low interest rate environment. To study funds? risk-taking behavior, we first present a simple theoretical model relating risk-taking to the level of risk-free rates, to their underfunding, and to the fiscal condition of their state sponsors. The theory identifies two distinct channels through which interest rates and other factors may affect risk-taking: by altering plans? funding ratios, and by changing risk premia. The theory also shows the effect of state finances on funds? risk-taking ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 19-2

Working Paper
The Shift from Active to Passive Investing: Potential Risks to Financial Stability?

The past couple of decades have seen a significant shift in assets from active to passive investment strategies. We examine the potential effects of this shift on financial stability through four different channels: (1) effects on investment funds? liquidity transformation and redemption risks; (2) passive strategies that amplify market volatility; (3) increases in asset-management industry concentration; and (4) the effects on valuations, volatility, and comovement of assets that are included in indexes. Overall, the shift from active to passive investment strategies appears to be increasing ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 18-4

Report
The cost of capital of the financial sector

Standard factor pricing models do not capture well the common time-series or cross-sectional variation in average returns of financial stocks. We propose a five-factor asset pricing model that complements the standard Fama and French (1993) three-factor model with a financial sector ROE factor (FROE) and the spread between the financial sector and the market return (SPREAD). This five-factor model helps to alleviate the pricing anomalies for financial sector stocks and also performs well for nonfinancial sector stocks compared with the Fama and French (2014) five-factor model or the Hou, Xue, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 755

Report
Rollover risk as market discipline: a two-sided inefficiency

Why does the market discipline that financial intermediaries face seem too weak during booms and too strong during crises? This paper shows in a general equilibrium setting that rollover risk as a disciplining device is effective only if all intermediaries face purely idiosyncratic risk. However, if assets are correlated, a two-sided inefficiency arises: Good aggregate states have intermediaries taking excessive risks, while bad aggregate states suffer from costly fire sales. The driving force behind this inefficiency is an amplifying feedback loop between asset values and market discipline. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 597

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