Are bank shareholders enemies of regulators or a potential source of market discipline?
In moral hazard models, bank shareholders have incentives to transfer wealth from the deposit insurer--that is, maximize put option value--by pursuing riskier strategies. For safe banks with large charter value, however, the risk-taking incentive is outweighed by the possibility of losing charter value. Focusing on the relationship between book value, market value, and a risk measure, this paper develops a semi-parametric model for estimating the critical level of bank risk at which put option value starts to dominate charter value. From these estimates, we infer the extent to which the ...
Foreign stock holdings: the role of information
The household finance literature documents a large fraction of the population not participating in stock markets. It is also puzzling that a much greater share of households do not participate in foreign stock markets. Recent empirical evidence points towards the role of information in determining agents' portfolio choices. I test these results into a model that incorporates information on agents' portfolio allocation decision. In the model, consumers can invest in both domestic and foreign stocks and to update their information set, agents have to pay a cost implying that consumers update ...
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. ...
Belief dispersion among household investors and stock trading volume
We study the effects of belief dispersion on stock trading volume. Unlike most of the existing work on the subject, our paper focuses on how household investors' disagreements on macroeconomic variables influence market-wide trading volume. We show that greater belief dispersion among household investors is associated with significantly higher trading volume, even after controlling for the disagreements among professional forecasters. Further, we find that the belief dispersion among household investors who are more likely to own stocks has more pronounced effects on trading volume, ...
Investment, idiosyncratic risk, and ownership
High-powered incentives may induce higher managerial effort, but they also expose managers to idiosyncratic risk. If managers are risk averse, they might underinvest when firm-specific uncertainty increases, leading to suboptimal investment decisions from the perspective of well-diversified shareholders. We empirically document that when idiosyncratic risk rises, firm investment falls, and more so when managers own a larger fraction of the firm. This negative effect of managerial risk aversion on investment is mitigated if executives are compensated with options rather than with shares or if ...
From the horse's mouth: gauging conditional expected stock returns from investor surveys
We use data obtained from a series of Michigan Surveys of Consumer Attitudes to study stock market beliefs and portfolio choices of individual investors. We find that expected returns over the medium- and long-term horizon appear to be extrapolated from past realized returns. The findings also indicate that a more optimistic assessment of macroeconomic conditions coincides with higher expected returns and lower expected volatility, implying strongly procyclical Sharpe ratios. These results are given added credence by the empirical finding that reported portfolio concentrations in equities ...
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 ...
Do high-tech stocks perform like lottery tickets?