Private Information in Over-the-Counter Markets
We study trading in over-the-counter (OTC) markets where agents have heterogeneous and private valuations for assets. We develop a quantitative model in which assets are issued through a primary market and then traded in a secondary OTC market. Then we use data on the US municipal bond market to calibrate the model. We find that the effects of private information are large, reducing asset supply by 20%, trade volume by 80%, and aggregate welfare by 8%. Using the model, we identify two channels through which the information friction harms the economy. First, the distribution of the existing ...
Initial Public Offerings in Hot and Cold Markets
Asymmetric information models characterize hot IPO markets as periods when better quality firms have an incentive to issue equity, and cold markets when the lemons premium associated with equity is too high to draw in many issuers. Recent empirical evidence, however, suggests that firms that issue in hot markets are a major source of stock price underperformance of equity issuers. We investigate these opposing views with data on IPO firms that issued in 1983, a hot market, and 1988, a cold market. We find that the two sets of firms have similar operating performance, but stock returns are ...
Post-crisis Signals in Securitization: Evidence from Auto ABS
We find significant evidence of asymmetric information and signaling in post-crisis offerings in the auto asset-backed securities (ABS) market. Using granular regulatory reporting data, we are able to directly measure private information and quantify its effect on signaling and pricing. We show that lenders "self-finance'' unobservably higher-quality loans by holding these loans for longer periods to signal private information. This signal is priced in initial offerings of auto ABS and accurately predicts ex-post loan performance. We also demonstrate that our results are robust to exogenous ...
Information Disclosures, Default Risk, and Bank Value
This paper investigates the causal effects of voluntary information disclosures on a bank's expected default probability, enterprise risk, and value. I measure disclosure via a self-constructed index for the largest 80 U.S. bank holding companies for the period 1998-2011. I provide evidence that a bank's management responds to a plausibly exogenous deterioration in the supply of public information by increasing its voluntary disclosure, which in turn improves investors' assessment of the bank risk and value. This evidence suggests that disclosure may alleviate informational frictions and lead ...
Employment Dynamics in a Signaling Model with Workers' Incentives
Many firms adjust employment in a "lumpy" manner -- infrequently and in large bursts. In this paper, I show that lumpy adjustments can arise from concerns about the incentives of remaining workers. Specifically, I develop a model in which a firm's productivity depends on its workers' effort and workers' income prospects depend on the firm's profitability. I use this model to analyze the consequences of demand shocks that are observed by the firm but not by its workers, who can only try to infer the firm's profitability from its employment decisions. I show that the resulting signaling model ...
Mixed Signals: Investment Distortions with Adverse Selection
We study how adverse selection distorts equilibrium investment allocations in a Walrasian credit market with two-sided heterogeneity. Representative investor and partial equilibrium economies are special cases where investment allocations are distorted above perfect information allocations. By contrast, the general setting features a pecuniary externality that leads to trade and investment allocations below perfect information levels. The degree of heterogeneity between informed agents' type governs the direction of the distortion. Moreover, contracts that complete markets dampen the impact ...
Variance Disparity and Market Frictions
This paper introduces a new model-free approach to measuring the expectation of market variance using VIX derivatives. This approach shows that VIX derivatives carry different information about future variance than S&P 500 (SPX) options, especially during the 2008 financial crisis. I find that the segmentation is associated with frictions such as funding illiquidity, market illiquidity, and asymmetric information. When they are segmented, VIX derivatives contribute more to the variance discovery process than SPX options. These findings imply that VIX derivatives would offer a better estimate ...
Are Lemons Sold First? Dynamic Signaling in the Mortgage Market
A central result in the theory of adverse selection in asset markets is that informed sellers can signal quality and obtain higher prices by delaying trade. This paper provides some of the first evidence of a signaling mechanism through trade delays using the residential mortgage market as a laboratory. We find a strong relationship between mortgage performance and time to sale for privately securitized mortgages. Additionally, deals made up of more seasoned mortgages are sold at lower yields. These effects are strongest in the "Alt-A" segment of the market, where mortgages are often sold ...
Crisis Chronicles: The Panic of 1825 and the Most Fantastic Financial Swindle of All Time
Centered in London, the banking panic of 1825 has been called the first modern financial crisis, the first Latin American crisis, and the first emerging market crisis. And while the panic displayed many of the key elements of past crises we have covered?fluctuations in money growth, an investment bubble, a stock market crash, and bank runs?this crisis had its own twists, including a Bank of England that hesitated before stepping in as lender of last resort. But it is perhaps best known for an infamous bond market swindle surrounding an entirely made-up Central American principality. In this ...
The theory and practice of supervision--Remarks at the SIFMA Internal Auditors Society Education Luncheon, Harvard Club, New York City
Remarks at the SIFMA Internal Auditors Society Education Luncheon, Harvard Club, New York City.