Expectations of risk and return among household investors: Are their Sharpe ratios countercyclical?
Data obtained from special questions on the Michigan Survey of Consumer Attitudes over several years are used to analyze stock market beliefs and portfolio choices of household investors. Consistent with other survey results, expected future returns appear to be extrapolated from past realized returns. The data also indicate that expected risk and return are strongly influenced by economic prospects. When investors believe macroeconomic conditions are more expansionary, they tend to expect both higher returns and lower volatility, which implies that household Sharpe ratios are procyclical. ...
Are hostile takeovers different?
Japan's cross-shareholding legacy: the financial impact on banks
Japanese banks' financial results for the Fiscal Year Ending (FYE) March 2009 marked their worst performance in recent years. Although soaring loan loss charges contributed to the banks' weak performances, losses on equity securities were also a key driver. These losses have drawn renewed attention to the practice of Japanese banks owning stock in the companies to which they lend through so-called cross-shareholdings, and the market risk resulting from these holdings. This Asia Focus provides a brief background on the development of cross-shareholding. The report also examines some of the ...
Transparency, financial accounting information, and corporate governance
Audited financial statements along with supporting disclosures form the foundation of the firm-specific information set available to investors and regulators. In this article, the authors discuss economics-based research focused on the properties of accounting systems and the surrounding institutional environment important to effective governance of firms. They provide a framework for understanding the operation of accounting information in an economy, discuss a broad range of important research findings, present a conceptual framework for characterizing and measuring corporate transparency ...
Executive equity compensation and incentives: a survey
Stock and option compensation and the level of managerial equity incentives are aspects of corporate governance that are especially controversial to shareholders, institutional activists, and government regulators. Similar to much of the corporate finance and corporate governance literature, research on stock-based compensation and incentives has not only generated useful insights, but also produced many contradictory findings. Not surprisingly, many fundamental questions remain unanswered. In this study, the authors synthesize the broad literature on equity-based compensation and executive ...
Concentrated shareholdings and the number of outside analysts
Assuming some fixed cost to information acquisition, diffuse shareholders in publicly held firms have little incentive to produce information that can substitute for the services of financial analysts. However, we argue that concentrated shareholdings, either by outsiders like institutions or by inside managers, reduce the demand for analyst services. The former group finds it worthwhile to produce its own information and avoid any moral hazard problems associated with analyst forecasts, while the concentration of shareholdings by insiders reduces the moral hazard problem associated with ...
Boomer retirement: headwinds for U.S. equity markets?
Historical data indicate a strong relationship between the age distribution of the U.S. population and stock market performance. A key demographic trend is the aging of the baby boom generation. As they reach retirement age, they are likely to shift from buying stocks to selling their equity holdings to finance retirement. Statistical models suggest that this shift could be a factor holding down equity valuations over the next two decades.
A survey of blockholders and corporate control
The author surveys the empirical literature on large-percentage shareholders in public corporations, focusing on four key issues: the prevalence of blockholders; the motivation for block ownership; the effect of blockholders on executive compensation, leverage, the incidence of takeovers, and a wide range of corporate decisions; and the effect of blockholders on firm value. A central finding of this study is that there is little reason for policymakers or small investors to fear large-percentage shareholders in general, especially when the blockholders are active in firm management.