Credit Information in Earnings Calls
We develop a novel technique to extract credit-relevant information from the text of quarterly earnings calls. This information is not spanned by fundamental or market variables and forecasts future credit spread changes. One reason for such forecastability is that our text-based measure predicts future credit spread risk and firm profitability. More firm- and call-level complexity increase the forecasting power of our measure for spread changes. Out-of-sample portfolio tests show the information in our measure is valuable for investors.
Your Family Business Needs a Board
A board should be at the helm of any family business, steering the business in the right direction. If you wish to have a business that is resilient and has a positive impact on all stakeholders (e.g., employees, customers, vendors, and society) you must make sure your board is intact and functioning optimally. This article offers some questions to consider as you develop best practices for your own board, such as who should be on the board, whether you need an independent director, and how often your board should meet.
Is Physical Climate Risk Priced? Evidence from Regional Variation in Exposure to Heat Stress
We exploit regional variations in exposure to heat stress to study if physical climate risk is priced in municipal and corporate bonds as well as in equity markets. We find that local exposure to damages related to heat stress equaling 1% of GDP is associated with municipal bond yield spreads that are higher by around 15 basis points per annum (bps), the effect being larger for longer-term, revenue-only and lower-rated bonds, and arising mainly from the expected increase in energy expenditures and decrease in labor productivity.
Does ESG Negative Screening Work?
We revisit the firm value and pricing implications of the negative screening of sin stocks. Unlike prior work, we find that institutional ownership and valuations related to sin stocks are not different from those of other stocks after controlling for differences in fundamentals between sin and non-sin stocks. Sin stocks do not differ in the likelihood of exiting the public market, the cost of raising new equity, and in the announcement returns around negative ESG news relative to non-sin stocks, casting further doubt on whether negative screening hurts sin stocks.
Issues Revisited from Rumelt’s (1974) “Diversification, Strategy & Performance”
Performance expectations are revisited pertaining to particular corporate strategies that were highlighted by Rumelt (1974). In particular, suggestions regarding expectations about conglomerate enterprises, vertical integration, and mature- or declining-demand businesses are offered in light of additional information about research findings and observed industry phenomena that are at odds with information available when Rumelt's (1974) study of diversification was performed.
The End of Tourist Traps: A Natural Experiment on the Impact of Tripadvisor on Quality Upgrading
Asymmetric information can distort market outcomes. I study how the online disclosure of information affects consumers’ behavior and firms’ incentives to upgrade product quality in markets where information is traditionally limited. I first build a model of consumer search with firms’ endogenous quality decisions. In this model, lower search costs reallocate demand toward higher-quality producers, raising firms’ incentives to upgrade quality, and more so for firms selling ex-ante lower-quality products.
Man vs. Machine: Quantitative and Discretionary Equity Management
In modern asset markets, man and machine compete for profits. How does each fare? I build a learning model in which quantitative investors (reliant on computer models) have more learning capacity but less flexibility to adapt to market conditions than discretionary investors (reliant on human judgment). I use machine learning to categorize US active equity mutual funds as quantitative or discretionary. Consistent with the model's predictions, I find that quantitative funds hold more stocks, specialize in stock picking, and engage in more overcrowded trades.
In Tax We Trust?
Most private wealth advisors (including trusts and estates lawyers, accountants and investment advisors) assume that a primary goal of their work is to reduce their clients’ taxes as much as possible, including to the point of elimination. The level of sophistication around tax reduction has grown substantially over the past few decades. This is especially true for family-owned businesses but also for all clients with substantial resources.
Principles of Strategy: A Practice-Based View
The SMR was pleased to conduct a set of launch conferences before its first published issue in 2020. One launch conference occurred at Columbia Business School in the summer of 2019 at which James Gorman, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley served as the keynote speaker. An edited excerpt of part of his address appears below, in which he describes essential elements of his conception of strategy, or his principles of strategy. Kathryn Rudie Harrigan, Henry R.
Risk-Sensitive Optimal Execution via a Conditional Value-at-Risk Objective
We consider a liquidation problem in which a risk-averse trader tries to liquidate a fixed quantity of an asset in the presence of market impact and random price fluctuations. When deciding the liquidation strategy, the trader encounters a trade-off between the transaction costs incurred due to market impact and the volatility risk of holding the position.
Monetary Policy Transmission in Segmented Markets
We show that dealer market power impedes the pass-through of monetary policy in repo markets, which is an important first stage of monetary policy transmission. In the European repo market, most participants do not have access to trade on centralized exchanges. Rather, they rely on OTC intermediation by a small number of dealers that exhibit significant market power. As a result, the passthrough of the ECB's policy rate to repo markets is inefficient and unequal.
Valuing Financial Data
How should an investor value financial data? The answer is complicated as it not only depends on the investor himself but also on the characteristics of all other investors. Portfolio size, risk aversions, trading horizon, and investment style affect an investor's willingness to pay for data and the equilibrium value of data. Directly measuring all these characteristics of all investors is hopeless. Thus, we outline a simple model that gives rise to sufficient statistics that make an investor's private value of data measurable.