Beyond the numbers: an analysis of optimistic and pessimistic language in earnings press releases
In this paper, we examine whether managers use optimistic and pessimistic language in earnings press releases to provide information about expected future firm performance to the market, and whether the market responds to optimistic and pessimistic language usage in earnings press releases after controlling for the earnings surprise and other factors likely to influence the market*s response to the earnings announcement. We use textual-analysis software to measure levels of optimistic and pessimistic language for a sample of approximately 24,000 earnings press releases issued between 1998 and 2003. We find a positive (negative) association between optimistic (pessimistic) language usage and future firm performance and a significant incremental market response to optimistic and pessimistic language usage in earnings press releases. Results suggest managers use optimistic and pessimistic language to provide credible information about expected future firm performance to the market, and that the market responds to managers' language usage.
AUTHORS: Davis, Angela K.; Piger, Jeremy M.; Sedor, Lisa M.
Issues in corporate governance
On September 29, 2002, William J. McDonough, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, delivered the William Taylor Memorial Lecture in Washington, D.C., at an event cosponsored by the William Taylor Memorial Fund and the Group of Thirty, a private, international consultative group on economic and monetary affairs. In his lecture, Mr. McDonough describes the actions already taken by private and public sector groups to strengthen corporate governance and accounting standards and identifies areas where reforms are still needed.
AUTHORS: McDonough, William J.
Economic statistics: new needs for the twenty-first century
Selected Papers from a Conference Cosponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, and the National Association for Business Economics, July 11, 2002. Beverly Hirtle examines the market risk capital figures reported to regulators by U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) to assess the extent to which such disclosures provide meaningful information about bank risk. The study by Michael J. Fleming finds that the commonly used bid-ask spread--the difference between bid and offer prices--is a useful tool for assessing and tracking liquidity in the U.S. Treasury market. This volume of the Economic Policy Review also features a study by Edward J. Green, Jose A. Lopez, and Zhenyu Wang that describes the methods used by the Federal Reserve Banks to calculate the fees charged for their priced services. Several papers from the New York Fed's July 2002 conference--"Economic Statistics: New Needs for the Twenty-First Century"--are included as well.
Economic statistics: new needs for the twenty-first century - opening remarks
The purpose of this conference was to deepen our understanding of some of the key conceptual issues current facing those charged with measuring the performance of the U.S. economy and other economies around the globe. The speakers discussed recent efforts to improve economic and financial data and explore strategies for meeting the challenges that lay ahead. The conference focused on four key areas: 1) the measurement of intangible capital, 2) the measurement of service sector output, prices and productivity, 3) the measurement of international capital positions and flows, and 4) the use of hedonic indexes to measure prices while controlling for changes in quality.
AUTHORS: Stewart, Jamie B.
Evaluating the impact of fair value accounting on financial institutions: implications for accounting standards setting and bank supervision
Recent standard-setting activity related to fair value accounting has injected new life into questions of whether fair value provides information useful for decision-making, and whether there might be unintended consequences on financial stability. This discussion paper provides insight into these questions by performing a holistic evaluation of fair value accounting?s usefulness, the potential impacts it may have on financial institutions and any broader macroeconomic effects. Materials reviewed as part of this analysis include public bank regulatory filings, financial statements, and fair value research. The bank supervisory rating approach referred to as CAMELS is used as an organizing principle for the paper. CAMELS serves as a convenient way to both categorize potential impacts of fair value on financial institutions, as well as provide a bank supervisory perspective alongside the more traditional investor?s views on decision usefulness. ; The overall conclusion based on the evidence presented is that implementing fair value accounting more broadly may not necessarily provide financial statement users with more transparent and useful reporting. Additionally, financial stability may be negatively impacted by fair value accounting due to the interconnectedness of financial institutions, markets and the broader economy. The analysis suggests that the current direction in which accounting standard setters and bank regulators are moving may represent a possible solution to address these concerns. U.S. accounting standard setters have recently proposed that fair value, along with enhanced disclosures, be applied in a more targeted manner. Bank regulators are developing new supervisory tools and approaches which may alleviate some of the potential negative impact of fair value on financial stability. Additional policy implications and areas for future study are suggested.
AUTHORS: Shaffer, Sanders
Cashing out: the treasurer's evolving role
AUTHORS: Katz, Jane
Making the numbers
AUTHORS: Katz, Jane
Pooling or purchase: a merger mystery
AUTHORS: Walter, John R.
Uncertain litigation cost and seller behavior: Evidence from an auditing game
This paper reports the results of two experiments, each consisting of six sessions, designed to investigate difficulties that arise in estimating expected litigation costs in an auditing game. In each experimental session, the game consists of a series of periods in which sellers submit sealed offers to computerized buyers and, if hired, choose an effort level (low or high). The effort level affects the certain (direct) and uncertain (litigation) costs of performing the engagement. Across the two experiments, we vary the uncertainty surrounding the determination of the expected litigation cost. Our results strongly suggest that cognitive limitations hinder sellers' abilities to estimate total expected litigation costs. Across both experiments we observe a nontrivial number of suboptimal effort choices. Moreover, as the uncertainty of determining the expected litigation cost increases, the frequency of observed fee offers below the total expected cost of an engagement increases markedly.
AUTHORS: Zhang, Ping; Church, Bryan K.; Ackert, Lucy F.
Expensing stock options
Many market commentators argue that companies should expense the stock options they give their employees. Will expensing give investors better information about what companies earn and spend?
AUTHORS: Haubrich, Joseph G.