Since the 2007-09 financial crisis, the prices of closely related assets have shown persistent deviations?so-called basis spreads. Because such disparities create apparent profit opportunities, the question arises of why they are not arbitraged away. In a recent Staff Report, we argue that post-crisis changes to regulation and market structure have increased the costs to banks of participating in spread-narrowing trades, creating limits to arbitrage. In addition, although one might expect hedge funds to act as arbitrageurs, we find evidence that post-crisis regulation affects not only the ...
Gambling for Dollars: Strategic Hedge Fund Manager Investment
Hedge fund managers differ in ability and investors want to distinguish good ones from bad. Via the design of their investment strategies, better fund managers want to ease this inference problem while worse fund managers want to complicate it. We impose only the minimal restrictions on the nature the investment strategies that, on average, returns reflect the hedge fund manager?s ability and that returns be bounded from below, and solve for the set of equilibria that emerge. We then show that under a variety of equilibrium refinements, a unique equilibrium obtains. In this equilibrium, ...
The costs and benefits of moral suasion: evidence from the rescue of Long-Term Capital Management
This study examines the level of unsecured borrowing done by the firms that would ultimately rescue Long-Term Capital Management in the days leading up to the hedge fund's rescue. Although there is some evidence that these banks borrowed less at the height of the crisis, further examination reveals that this reduction in borrowing was demand-driven and did not result from rationing on the part of the market. This suggests that the market believed that the troubles at LTCM would not have solvency-threatening repercussions for the fund's major creditors. Further, it is shown that large banks ...
Hedging the risk
Returns to Active Management: The Case of Hedge Funds
Do more active hedge fund managers generate higher returns than their less active peers? We attempt to answer this question. Using Kalman Filter techniques, we estimate the risk exposure dynamics of a large sample of live and dead equity long-short hedge funds. These estimates are then used to develop a measure of activeness for each hedge fund. Our results show that there exists a nonlinear relationship between activeness and performance. Using raw returns as a measure of performance, it is found that more active funds outperform the less active ones. However, when risk adjusted returns are ...
Liquidity risk and hedge fund ownership
Using a unique, hand-collected data set of hedge fund ownership, we examine the effects of hedge fund ownership on liquidity risk in the cross-section of stocks. After controlling for institutional preferences for stock characteristics, we find that stocks held by hedge funds as marginal investors are more sensitive to changes in aggregate liquidity than comparable stocks held by other types of institutions or by individuals. Stocks held by hedge funds also experience significantly negative abnormal returns during liquidity crises. These findings support the theory of Brunnermeier and ...
Market conditions and hedge fund survival
As the hedge fund industry has grown, there has been increased concern that, during sharp market moves, hedge fund failures could exacerbate the deterioration in financial conditions and deepen a crisis. However, there has not been much formal analysis regarding the impact of financial market conditions on hedge fund survival. To help fill this gap, this paper examines the relationship between financial market conditions and the likelihood of hedge fund failure after controlling for performance and other characteristics. The analysis is conducted using data on individual funds and industry ...
Investor Concentration, Flows, and Cash Holdings : Evidence from Hedge Funds
We show that when only a few investors own a substantial portion of a hedge fund's net asset value, flow volatility increases because investors' exogenous, idiosyncratic liquidity shocks are not diversified away. Using confidential regulatory filings, we confirm that high investor concentration hedge funds experience more volatile flows. These hedge funds hold more cash and liquid assets, which help absorb large, unexpected outflows. Such funds have to pay a liquidity premium and generate lower risk-adjusted returns. Investor concentration does not affect flow-performance sensitivity. These ...
Only Winners in Tough Times Repeat: Hedge Fund Performance Persistence over Different Market Conditions
We provide novel evidence that hedge fund performance is persistent following weak hedge fund markets, but is not persistent following strong markets. Specifically, we construct two performance measures, DownsideReturns and UpsideReturns, conditioned on the level of overall hedge fund sector returns. After adjusting for risks, funds in the highest DownsideReturns quintile outperform funds in the lowest quintile by about 7% in the subsequent year, whereas funds with better UpsideReturns do not outperform subsequently. The DownsideReturns can predict future fund performance over a horizon as ...