Finance

Repos: the missing piece in financial market reform

We all remember the hectic summer and fall of 2008 when the financial system was at the brink of the collapse. Since that time, policymakers have enacted structural reforms to the financial system, but what about the repurchase agreements (repo) market?

A repo is the sale of financial assets coupled with a promise to repurchase the same assets at a […]

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    Ahead of Fed decisions, markets are more forward-looking than we thought

Ahead of Fed decisions, markets are more forward-looking than we thought

Much of the literature related to Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decisions focuses on their post-announcement effects. There is ample evidence that asset prices and volatilities only respond to “surprises” – that is, when the actual target decision differs from the market’s expectation mirroring the findings of a substantial body of work considering the effects of macroeconomic announcements.

In addition, […]

Mixed fortunes for private equity

Private equity is at a crossroads. A once carefree industry, it is increasingly assailed by regulators and investors demanding lower fees, higher returns and greater financial transparency. Valuations, having risen sharply, may have peaked; the average price paid for assets by US buyout firms in 2015 was 22.4 times earnings, according to data from Bloomberg. The buyout industry had […]

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    InsureTech firms look to disrupt, but not to overtake incumbents

InsureTech firms look to disrupt, but not to overtake incumbents

The insurance industry is rarely credited with innovations we now take for granted. The idea for a fire service was brewed up in 17th century coffee houses to insure against arson, pension funds came from the desire to protect the wives of clergymen in the 18th century, and the blueprint for the modern welfare state ultimately emerged from Bismarck’s […]

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    A trusted analyst’s opinion is worth gold for a company’s investors

A trusted analyst’s opinion is worth gold for a company’s investors

Whose reputation do investors pay attention to when determining how to value a firm? Is it the reputation of the stock analyst who covers the firm, or is it the company’s reputation? What about the reputation of the CEO?

For instance, when Matthew Boss (a J.P. Morgan professional who has been rated as a star analyst by Institutional Investor magazine) […]

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    Banks’ cautious approach to financial startups has matured

Banks’ cautious approach to financial startups has matured

Financial Technology (FinTech) has been one of the fastest growing tech sectors during the past two years. Interest in the sector has led banks, investors, regulators and policymakers alike to interact with FinTech start-ups to better understand what drives their success. This has emerged as an on-going process – the difficulty comes from the fact that similarly to the […]

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    Most countries in the ’10 most likely’ to adopt bitcoin are in the developing world

Most countries in the ’10 most likely’ to adopt bitcoin are in the developing world

Which markets have the greatest potential for bitcoin adoption?

With over $250m of venture capital invested in bitcoin startups to date, much is at stake in understanding which markets will prove most fertile for bitcoin. In addition, many governments and regulatory agencies are seeking to better understand the economic opportunities presented by bitcoin along with the perceived risks.

The new Bitcoin Market Potential Index […]

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    Shareholders’ votes on CEO pay focus mostly on top-line figures

Shareholders’ votes on CEO pay focus mostly on top-line figures

We examine the impact of enhanced executive remuneration disclosure rules on the voting pattern of shareholders under UK regulations. The key findings are that shareholders guide their vote by top line salary only, and appear to disregard the remaining – substantial – body of information provided to them.

Our paper can be seen against a backdrop of numerous policy initiatives […]

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    Startups working with venture capital firms perform the best

Startups working with venture capital firms perform the best

It’s a familiar idea that venture capitalists, or VCs, are the “money of invention” and fund firms with high growth potential, helping bring their products to market. However, entrepreneurs have many options when considering funding. There are corporate venture capitalists (CVC), which typically work within a larger corporate structure and seek to acquire innovative startups that would blend well […]

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    Some mutual funds do business with firms whose shares they own

Some mutual funds do business with firms whose shares they own

Major decisions in public corporations are subject to a democratic process: Proposals for change are presented at annual general meetings (AGMs), company managers indicate their preferred outcome, and shareholders then vote. Mutual funds have significant voting power by virtue of their extensive shareholdings. They also often have business ties with firms held in their portfolios because they manage company […]

CEOs strategically time news releases for their own benefit

More and more firms seek to set long-term incentives for their managers. One way to do so is to restrict executives from selling stock and options for a certain period, typically three years. When such stock and options finally become available (“vesting”), many executives are eager to sell.

One easy way to boost short-term stock prices is to release news. Even […]

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    Institutions that settle market transactions need strong corporate governance

Institutions that settle market transactions need strong corporate governance

There have been a variety of systemically important banking issues making the headlines since the global recession of 2008, but the challenge to mitigating credit risk during settlement seems to be a constant frontrunner. This article discusses the importance of effective liquidity management, particularly from the sphere of timely payment settlement via financial market utilities (FMUs), defined as “multilateral systems that […]

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    Company news affects the way in which a stock’s returns co-move with those of other firms

Company news affects the way in which a stock’s returns co-move with those of other firms

It is well known that the release of new information about a firm affects its stock price, as investors update their expectations about the firm’s fundamentals and future profitability. For example, unexpectedly good earnings news cause price increases, while negative surprises cause drops in prices. However, little is known about the impact of news on the co-variance structure of […]

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    How investment analysts frame information matters to their careers

How investment analysts frame information matters to their careers

Institutional Investor’s All-American ranking is the Oscars of sell-side securities analysis. Sell-side analysts work for investment banks or independent research firms to gather, interpret, and disseminate knowledge about a particular industry. Unlike buy-side analysts, who make actual investment decisions, sell-side analysts offer their audience of institutional investors – such as chief investment officers and portfolio managers of money management […]

How is big data transforming the financial sector?

Using big data for finance is a trend at the centre of the UK financial sector. The emerging financial services sector is commonly termed ‘fintech’ and while it includes firms in retail financial services, risk analytics and aspects of extensive payment systems, a major element of it focuses on the use of big data and the algorithms appropriate to […]

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    The Brexit question will increase financial market volatility

The Brexit question will increase financial market volatility

In late February, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the referendum on the country’s continued membership of the European Union (EU) would be held on 23 June. Over the following weekend, a number of leading Conservative MPs announced their support for the campaign to leave the EU – ‘Brexit’. The pound sterling declined as trading opened on the […]

What will the bank of the future look like?

Lionel Barber, the editor of the FT, summed it up at Davos: “Nobody wants to be in banking, everyone wants to be in fintech”. Fintech – or financial technology – has reached the mainstream, but what does this mean for the banks?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is taking hold in banking. The rise of fintech came about over the last […]

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    Some currency trading positions yield increased returns around Fed announcements

Some currency trading positions yield increased returns around Fed announcements

Announcements by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which occur regularly at pre-specified dates, are one of the most highly anticipated events by investors around the world. Through these announcements, the Federal Reserve communicates monetary policy in the form of setting the target federal funds rate which is the interest rate at which financial institutions lend to each other […]

European banking union: should the ‘outs’ join in?

The ultimate rationale of banking union

Banking union was conceived as a reply to one of the root causes of the European debt crisis: the sovereign-bank loop. To break the loop, euro-area leaders decided to move responsibility for banking supervision and resolution to the European level.

Banking union consists of the SSM (Single Supervisory Mechanism) and the SRM (Single Resolution Mechanism). […]

Overconfident CEOs prefer short-term debt

Debt maturity represents an important dimension of corporate financing policies. Inferior debt maturity structure can lead to suboptimal liquidation of the firm. The impact of firm characteristics on the choice of debt maturity structure is well understood. More recently, studies have turned to examine how the personal characteristics of corporate executives affect debt maturity decisions. This makes intuitive sense […]