Browsing: Finance & Economics

Foundations of Financial Economics,
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Finance & Economics

Amato on the Late-Cycle Dilemma

Nov 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Personalities in AI

Joseph V. Amato, president of Neuberger Berman Group LLC and Chief Investment Officer – Equities at Neuberger Berman, has written a thoughtful discussion of late about where the markets, and the business cycle, stands. This, the end of 2017, is a “late cycle” moment. Equities continue to rise, but theRead More


4 Lessons from the EQT Proxy Context

Nov 14th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

D.E. Shaw & Co., a hedge fund manager with an activist strategy and with about 4% of the equity in EQT Corp., said on September 14 that it thought the then-pending acquisition of Rice Energy Inc (RICE) by EQT should be contingent on two commitments: first, that EQT would mergeRead More


Algorithmic Traders: Proprietary, Agency, Liquidity

Nov 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

Two scholars affiliated with the Indian Institute of Management, in Calcutta, have posted a paper about the effects of algorithmic trading on liquidity. This paper, by Samarpan Nawn and Ashok Banerjee, based on the first chapter of Nawn’s Ph.D. dissertation, distinguishes sharply between proprietary algorithmic traders and agency algorithmic traders,Read More


Lazard Research on Smart Beta

Nov 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, Due Diligence Process, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Risk Management & Operations, Smart Beta

Jason Williams, senior vice president at Lazard Asset Management, has written a white paper on the “six sins of smart beta.” First: what is smart beta? Academic studies indicate anomalies in the markets that somehow don’t get arbitraged away.  These become identified as “factors” and indexes can be designed soRead More


Federal Reserve on Counterparties to the next Lehman Brothers

Nov 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Insolvency, Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations, Service Providers

The Federal Reserve has issued a final rule relating to the qualified financial contracts (QFCs) of global systemically important U.S. banking institutions (GSIBs). Derivatives & Repo Report, a blog maintained by the international law firm Perkins Coie, has done a thorough write-up on the subject, to which the material belowRead More


FACTOR RETURNS: SMALL VS. LARGE CAPS

Nov 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

By Nicolas Rabener, FactorResearch Are Factor Returns Limited to Small Caps? Summary: A frequent criticism of factor investing is that factor returns are stronger in small caps; Our research highlights that this is not uniformly true across factors; and Value and Size benefit most from including small caps. INTRODUCTION FactorRead More


Are Clearinghouses Systemically Risky? Gary Cohn is Heard From

Oct 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

Economists sometimes cite a “law of unintended consequences.” This is what it sounds like, the principle that actions of people, inclusive of and perhaps (depending on who is writing) especially the actions of a government, have unanticipated and (as far as third party observers can judge intentions) unintended consequences. InRead More


China and a Reduced Form Bayesian VAR

Oct 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

What the heck does the forbidding phrase “reduced form Bayesian VAR” mean? Let’s break this down. The VAR in question isn’t VaR (Value at Risk). It’s Vector Autoregression. This is a stochastic process model employed to understand the linear dependences among multiple time series. Each variable in a VAR hasRead More


International Debt Enforcement: Nautical Twists and Turns

Oct 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Insolvency, Newly Added

Since sovereign debts and collection issues we shall always have with us, it is not amiss to look back four years to a decision by the Supreme Court of Ghana issued in June 2013, on NML Capital’s effort to enforce its judgment against the Republic of Argentina through the seizureRead More


AIMA and SGPS on Managed Futures and CTAs

Sep 28th, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Allocating to A.I., Business News, Commodities, CTA, Institutional Asset Management, Investing in Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

The Alternative Investment Management Association and Societe Generale Prime Services have together put out a white paper about managed futures funds and the commodity trading advisers who manage them. A key themes of the paper is that managed futures strategies aren’t as risky as are typical investments in equity markets.Read More


Aon: Alternative Risk Premia Viable for Many

Sep 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Asset Allocation Models, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

A new report from Aon discusses the contemporary market for alternative risk premia: where it is, how it got here; where it may be headed. The authors, Matthew Towsey and Chris Walvoord, begin with some very basic considerations of what ‘risk premia’ are. They are, on the one hand, theRead More


The Consequences of Auditing the Auditors

Sep 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

Nemit Shroff, an associate professor of accounting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, has written a study of the consequences of auditing for the auditees. He has concluded that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) “adds significant value to the financial reporting process,” with aRead More


High-Frequency Trading and Spoofing   

Aug 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations

Six years ago Michael Coscia placed orders through the CME Group’s Globex platform via a trading algorithm that amounted to “spoofing.” He placed both large and small orders in the copper market, for example, with the large orders (cancelled within milliseconds) designed to create the illusion of market movement inRead More


Jacobs, Levy, and Markowitz on Portfolios

Aug 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

Bruce Jacobs and Kenneth Levy, the founders and Chief Investment Officers of Jacobs Levy Equity Management, have brought out a new and considerably thickened edition of their classic collection of articles on equity investment. This second edition of Equity Management contains all 15 articles from the original, and 24 ofRead More


Networks, Modeling, and Funds of Funds

Aug 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Two scholars affiliated with FERI Trust, a leading investment manager of the German-speaking countries of Europe, have written a study of hedge fund strategies that uses a “network-based analysis” thereof. The two authors, Eduard Baitinger and Thomas Maier, argue that hedge fund strategies show “numerous network-based properties” which help explainRead More


BIS Numbers and the Market for Forex NDFs

Jun 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics, Forex, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A little over a year ago, the Bank for International Settlements announced its 11th Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Over the Counter Derivatives Market Activity. In recent days, Pragma Securities has referenced those BIS numbers in explaining the market for its latest service, an expansion of PragmaRead More


Evidence that Sovereign Wealth Funds Mitigate the Agency Problem

May 21st, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

Ever since the 1930s, scholars have discussed the “agency problem” built into the structure of publicly owned corporations. This was a theme of Ronald Coase’s landmark article, “The nature of the firm” in 1937. Shareholders presumably want a company managed in a way that maximizes their – the shareholders’ –Read More


The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem: A New Benchmark Study

May 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

It is clear by now to even the most hardened skeptic that cryptocurrency, the class of assets of which bitcoin is the paradigm, is much more than a passing fad. Yes, the field may once have been too closely associated with survivalists, cranks, and bit players in the story ofRead More


Hedge Funds and Sell-Side Analysts: Who is Tipping Off Whom?

May 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

Nathan Swem, an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, has written a paper on an always fascinating subject: the flow of information in financial markets. The point, in successful equity trading for example, isn’t merely “who you know?” Nor is it “what you know.” It’sRead More


Longevity Risk Transfer Markets: Limits to Growth

Apr 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

It was a fairly routine item about an accomplished executive changing jobs in the asset management industry, but it caught my eye. A March 2017 news item said that Andrew Reid, until recently the head of corporate pension origination at Deutsche Bank, had left that post to work with InsightRead More


The Case for Bargain Hunting in South Africa

Apr 18th, 2017 | Filed under: Currencies, Emerging markets, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Charles Roth, of Thornburg Investment Management, has made the case that markets have over-reacted to the recent political shake-up in South Africa, driving asset prices below their underlying value. Thus (although Roth doesn’t put the point quite this bluntly) this could be a time for some bargain hunting.  Finance MinistryRead More


Why They Call it an Absolute Priority Rule

Apr 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp. matters to hedge funds pursuing a distressed assets strategy, because the Justices have now made it more clear than they had before that the absolute priority rule under the U.S. bankruptcy code’s chapter 11 is … absolute. ItRead More


The Free Lunch of Diversification: Still on the Menu

Mar 28th, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

Anthony Davidow, vice president, alternative beta and asset allocation strategist, Charles Schwab, offers a valuable re-examination of modern portfolio theory in an article for Investments & Wealth Monitor. Davidow begins at the beginning. Harry Markowitz called diversification “the only free lunch in finance.” The idea is that by diversifying, anRead More


Nation-States and Block-Chains: Vying for the Cutting Edge

Mar 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Currencies, Forex, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Deloitte proposes that the Swiss Confederation has a key role to play in the continued development of blockchain. In a new whitepaper, Deloitte makes this case based on Switzerland’s “special position as a global innovation centre.” There are six sides to Switzerland’s position: its FinTech infrastructure; its start-up attractiveness; itsRead More


Looking at a Continent: Stress-Testing Banks and Insurers

Mar 14th, 2017 | Filed under: Economics, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

The European Central Bank’s financial stability review, published in November 2016, predicts “steady, but modest, euro area economic recovery, despite continued headwinds.” The review is designed to assist Europe’s policy making authorities by providing information about the bank’s microprudential and macroprudential roles, along with the risks and vulnerabilities of theRead More


The Low Volatility Anomaly: Gunpowder Inc.

Feb 26th, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

In a new paper David Blitz, the head of quantitative strategies for Robeco Asset Management, crunches numbers and reaches a surprising conclusion, precisely contrary to an intuitively appealing theory about the low volatility anomaly.  But … let’s begin from the beginning. Standard financial economic theory holds that investors are compensatedRead More


Why Do Alpha Seekers Find It In the Small Caps?

Feb 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

The median performance of active fund managers with a small-cap mandate is uniformly better than the performance of their colleagues with a large cap mandate against their respective benchmarks. Fewer than 40% of large-cap managers outperform U.S. large-cap equity. More than 60% of their small-cap counterparts do so. The patternRead More


Earnings Releases & Social Media: Listening to the Crowd

Feb 16th, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

Earnings releases, and the “seasons” made up out of them, have become almost a comforting ritual in the investment world. The days leading up to a company’s release often incites a good deal of more or less well-informed guesswork. That guesswork may become significantly more informed through crowdsourcing. That isRead More


Moszoro and Bykhovsky on Political Cognitive Biases

Feb 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

In the politically charged atmosphere of our day, especially in the United States since the most recent presidential inauguration, it would be unwise to presume that hedge fund managers are exempt from political cognitive biases, or that these biases leave their portfolio decisions unaffected. Marian Moszoro and Michael Bykhovsky co-wroteRead More


Big Data is Old Hat: Machine Learning is Hot

Jan 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Business News, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

A year ago, in a report on Big Data and investment management, Citi Business Advisory Services predicted that “with the improved volume, velocity and variety of data inherent in the big data approach, the innovation seen in systematic trading models over the past decade could accelerate.” One of the platformsRead More


On the Bitcoin Blockchain: Looking Under the Hood

Jan 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

More than a year ago, the Capco Institute Journal of Financial Transformation (Journal) ran a “critical assessment,” by Robert Sams, of bitcoin blockchains as a means of distributed clearing. With both bitcoins and blockchains newly in the news, Sams’ informed assessment is worth another look. Two years ago, Nasdaq announcedRead More


Active Share: Empirical and Conceptual Issues

Jan 17th, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

In 2009, Martijn Cremers, of the University of Notre Dame, and Antti Petajisto of New York University, introduced a new portfolio measurement they called Active Share, measuring in percentage terms the deviation of a portfolio from its benchmark (deviation in holdings, not in performance). Thus, a portfolio with 100% activeRead More


Funds of Funds and the Task of Financial Intermediation

Jan 12th, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Private Investments, Venture capital

Are funds of funds a valuable form of intermediation? Robert Harris, of the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, and three other distinguished scholars looked at this question in a Darden Business School Working Paper, and they decided that, at least with regard specifically to the role of FOFsRead More


The Federal Reserve on Distributed Ledger Technology (that is, on Blockchains)

Jan 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations, The Global Economy & Currencies

A large team of officers and staff affiliated with the Federal Reserve (eight with the Board in DC, five with the FR Bank of New York, one with the FRB of Chicago) have collaborated on a new paper on distributed ledger technology in payments, clearing, and settlement. Of necessity, givenRead More


Natixis asks 500 institutional investors to look into the future

Dec 20th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Emerging markets, Finance & Economics, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Natixis Global Asset Management has released the results of a survey of 500 institutional investors, asking them their views on prospects for 2017. The surveyed institutions expect that political and economic developments could cause an increase in volatility in the year to come, and active managers have to reset theirRead More


Private Equity Placements in China

Dec 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Currencies, Emerging markets, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies

A new paper by G. Nathan Dong and two other scholars investigates private equity placements in China and their consequences for the issuing firms. The study works from a natural experiment that resulted from regulations created by the PRC ten years ago. In 2006, the China Securities Regulatory Commission issuedRead More


Rudin and Marr: A Reformulation of RP Methods of Portfolio Construction

Nov 24th, 2016 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

A recent article by Alexander Rudin and William M. Marr, in The Journal of Alternative Investments, seeks to change the terms of discussion of the risk parity method of portfolio construction in a way that might remove some of the counter-intuitive consequences that can dog the approach. The paper, “InvestorRead More


Aftermath of 2008: Reactions to Decreased Liquidity

Nov 20th, 2016 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Liquid Alts, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry, The Global Economy & Currencies

A new report from State Street Corporation and the Alternative Investment Management Association says that nearly half of the market participants surveyed believe that decreased market liquidity is a secular change, not a cyclical one: that is, that it is a climate that is here to stay, not a rainRead More


Dealmakers: Trump, Hillary, and Mergers

Nov 3rd, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Intralinks, a firm created 20 years ago to enable “high-stakes transactions and business collaborations,” has surveyed global dealmakers on the upcoming U.S. presidential election and on how it may affect the economic and regulatory environment for mergers and acquisitions. The gist of it is: in a database of 1,600 M&ARead More


Massad: Where the U.S. and the World Stand on Margins & Cap Requirements

Oct 27th, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Finance & Economics, Forex, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

The chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Timothy Massad, addressed the Outlook Conference of the Managed Funds Association on October 21, and spoke about the global implementation of uncleared margin rules, which he called a critical component of “the new regulatory framework for swaps trading that the leaders ofRead More


Academics:  No, Navinder Sarao Did Not Cause the Flash Crash 

Oct 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics, Hedge Fund Operations and Risk Management, Newly Added, Operations, Personalities in AI, Risk management, Risk Management & Operations, Technology

Mid-October news reports tell us that Navinder Sarao has lost his effort to avoid extradition from Britain to the United States. So he will face charges in the U.S. in connection with the “flash crash” of May 2010, the incident in which the DJIA fell 998.5 points in less thanRead More


Fraudulent Transfer: No ‘Safety’ for Lyondell Shareholders   

Oct 20th, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Equity Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Newly Added

In two decisions this year, in July and against in a re-affirmance in October, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has reinstated a claim brought by Trustee of the creditors of the bankrupt  chemical company Lyondell, looking to recover distributions made to the company’s shareholdersRead More


It’s On: Bondholder Groups Square Off over Puerto Rico Financing

Oct 16th, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Newly Added

On Oct. 7, a group of hedge funds that hold the general obligation bonds of Puerto Rico amended an existing complaint (initially filed in July) in a significant respect: by adding a new defendant. The new defendant is the issuer of the “COFINA” bonds, the Puerto Rico Sales Tax FinancingRead More


Venezuela: Thinking of Cromwell and Crude

Oct 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Emerging markets, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, oil, The Global Economy & Currencies

Hedge funds, among them some of those the unsympathetic call “vultures,” bought into the bonds of the Petróleo de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) early this year. PDVSA is Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, the consequence of nationalization forty years ago. Its fate turns on (a) the vagaries of post-Chavez politics in thatRead More


Fine Art as Joy and Investment: A Reflection

Oct 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Newly Added, Real Assets

Why do people own great paintings? As something pleasing to hang on the wall? As a way to impress the neighbors? Presumably many buyers of privately circulating 17th century Dutch masterpieces are speculators, alpha seekers. But aren’t they speculating, in the end, upon what some end user will pay? WhatRead More


Tick Pilot Program: A Progress Report

Oct 4th, 2016 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The long-awaited nickel-tick pilot program, an effort to test an alternative to the penny-or-less tick sizes that now prevail, , officially gets underway on October 3, and is scheduled to continue for two years. Securities have been selected and the phase-in schedule is set. The pilot is of significance, becauseRead More


Papaconstantinou on ‘Selling the Family Silver’  

Oct 2nd, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Currencies, Insolvency, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A former finance minister of the Republic of Greece has published a book, Game Over, on what it is like to be in the midst of a continent-wide political and financial crisis. This is a volume that might be read with attention by those who seek alpha from distressed sovereignRead More


On Aluminum and Other Metals: A Thought on Physicality 

Sep 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics, Hard metals, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), the company that bought the London Metal Exchange four years ago, has further expansion plans. At a recent event on the commodity markets of East Asia, Charles Li, the CEO of HKEx, spoke on this point. Li wants to create a physical metals tradingRead More


ESMA’s Greybeards Ponder Blockchains

Sep 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

There has been a flurry in recent days of activity about blockchains among the graybeards of the financial world, those who ponder the Really Big Picture and who have the ear of important regulators. Let us start from the beginning. What is a blockchain? It is a chronological, virtual, andRead More


UC Berkeley: Stale Prices Not a Threat to Liquidity Takers

Sep 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Alpha Strategies, Business News, Equity Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Two scholars associated with the University of California, Berkeley, have argued in a recent paper that there is less to latency arbitrage, or at least to a certain paradigmatic sort of latency arb, than meets the eye. Robert P. Bartlett III and Justin McCrary used data from the Securities InformationRead More