Browsing: Finance & Economics

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Finance & Economics

Africa Still Rising (but Patience May Be Required)

Jun 12th, 2018 | Filed under: Emerging Alternative Investments, Emerging markets, High-net-worth investors, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Private Equity, Private Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies

The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, in a new report, suggests that the “Africa Rising” narrative of a few years ago is behind us. Africa is seen still as having enormous potential. But the report also says, “the commodity downturn of the last several years has had a severe impactRead More


The View from Amundi: Absolute Return and Factor Models

Jun 10th, 2018 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

On May 30, CAIA France sponsored a panel discussion on absolute return strategies, held at the headquarters of Amundi Asset Management, on the Boulevard Pasteur in Paris. Frederic Hoogveld, the head of investment specialists, index and smart beta for Amundi, spoke that evening on dynamic factor allocation. As a review:Read More


AQR Makes the Case for a VRP Strategy

Jun 5th, 2018 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

AQR Capital Management, the Greenwich, CT-based global investment firm, has posted a new discussion of the volatility risk premium and of the advantages of strategies based thereon. In principle the premium would disappear if markets efficiently estimated the probability of significant losses. But it remains, because investors are risk averseRead More


Quants and Fundamentalists Unite!

May 31st, 2018 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

By standard definition, a “quantitative” investing strategy is one that selects securities using customized models, often algorithm-driven and thus on the operational level independent of human judgment. Again working from standard definitions, a “fundamental” investing strategy involves an examination of whether the entity issuing a security (corporation, sovereign, or other)Read More


Eurekahedge on Japan as an Investment Mandate

May 24th, 2018 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Eurekahedge has recently concluded its fifth annual survey of asset managers with mandates to invest in Japan. In the words of Eurekahedge chairman and CEO, Satoshi Iwanaga: “Survey results for 2018 suggest that central bank normalization is still a long way off in Japan, with investors continuing to reduce theirRead More


The CBOE and VIX: The Appearance of Manipulation

May 6th, 2018 | Filed under: Business News, Commodities, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

On April 23, 2018, the chairman and the president of the Chicago Board Options Exchange issued an open letter to address concerns that the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is subject to manipulation. There were at least two incitements behind this letter. First, its authors, Chairman Ed Tilly and President ChrisRead More


Revising the ICAPM to Reflect Effects of Style Investing

May 1st, 2018 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

A recent paper by Michael Stutzer, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds School of Business, suggests that the intertemporal version of the capital asset pricing model (ICAPM) needs some revision in light of the market dominance of style investors. A more full statement of that might be: itRead More


Funds Use Public Info to Complement Private Signals

Apr 12th, 2018 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Alan D. Crane and two colleagues have written a paper on whether and how hedge funds profit from publicly available information, in particular from SEC filings. Crane is an assistant professor at Houston’s Rice University, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. He and two Rice students, Kevin Crotty andRead More


Options-based Strategies and their Pay-offs

Apr 10th, 2018 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Metrics and Measurement

Roberto Obregon, of the Meketa Investment Group, has written a paper (available at SSRN) on the use of options-based equity strategies. Obregon is the author of a number of scholarly papers on alternative strategies, including one last fall on global macro, which he co-authored with Willam Dana. In his optionsRead More


Bitcoin Futures ETFs: SEC Requests Comment

Apr 8th, 2018 | Filed under: Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

In December last year the NYSE Arca Inc. filed a proposed rule change that would allow for the creation of Exchange Traded Funds investing in Bitcoin futures contracts, and, potentially, in other related Financial Instruments. In January 2018 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission extended its review of this proposal.Read More


Finance Theory, Listed Equities, and Liquidity

Mar 29th, 2018 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

A recent paper from Robeco discusses whether a liquidity premium exists in the stock market. The authors, David Blitz, Jean-Paul van Brakel, and Milan Vidojevic, conclude that “the evidence for such a premium is, at best, weak.” Less politely, these authors refer to the whole notion of a liquidity premiumRead More


What Makes Big Data So … Big?

Mar 22nd, 2018 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

The term “big data” has become a cliché. One has to remind one’s self that it is a somewhat ill-fitting label. What is new about the world of data isn’t that there is a lot of it; nor that on the software end the processing of data becomes easier overRead More


Reducing Dependence on (L)IBOR

Mar 15th, 2018 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Metrics and Measurement, The Global Economy & Currencies

A creation of the mid-1980s, the London Interbank Offered rate (LIBOR) became immensely influential over the three decades that followed. It became a reference rate for both finance and commerce for the rate of nearly risk-free interest, and in the process it spawned other IBORs, including EURIBOR and Japan’s TIBOR.Read More


SCOTUS Decision Regarding Distressed Assets, Safe Harbors & Clawbacks

Mar 13th, 2018 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Insolvency, Newly Added

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Merit Management v. FTI Consulting may prove important to distressed asset managers, who need to know when defendants can assert the protection of the “safe harbor” provision of federal bankruptcy law, thus avoiding clawbacks. Section 546(e) of the statute says that a debtor mayRead More


The Unrecognized Risks of Short Vol Strategies

Feb 25th, 2018 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Metrics and Measurement

Vineer Bhansali and Lawrence Harris have written a scholarly paper on what they call the “extraordinary growth of short volatility strategies” since late 2010. A lot of people and institutions seem to have come to the conclusion that spiking volatility is just that. A “spike” on a chart is definitionallyRead More


PE and VC Opportunities in 21st Century India

Feb 13th, 2018 | Filed under: Currencies, Equity Types of Private Equity, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Venture capital

ARA Law, a firm based in Mumbai and Bangalore, India, has issued a paper on private equity and venture capital in that country. In a foreword, firm founder Rajesh N. Begur observes that there is a positive dynamic now at work in India’s economy, one that in his view “canRead More


S&P on Reading VIX

Feb 6th, 2018 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

S&P Dow Jones Indices has put out a paper offering market participants without patience for “academic rigor” an accessible guide to the so-called “Fear Index,” the VIX, calculated from the prices of a specific basket of S&P options. The contributors to the paper are: Tim Edwards, S&P Global senior director,Read More


Muster Drill: To the Value Lifeboats

Jan 30th, 2018 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Newly Added

By Scott Opsal While we’re not calling for an imminent market top, we are keeping a diligent watch from the crow’s nest for signs of a coming market correction. Equity investors worried that there is a bear-shaped iceberg looming somewhere in 2018 should be evaluating defensive portfolio strategies that wouldRead More


What CTAs Think about Bitcoin Futures

Jan 25th, 2018 | Filed under: Commodities, CTA, Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

A new BarclayHedge study indicates that the majority of commodity trading advisers surveyed are unenthusiastic about the new Bitcoin futures. Specifically, asked “do you consider Bitcoin futures to be a valuable/useful addition to a diversified futures portfolio?” nearly three quarters (73%) said “no.” The sample for this survey included firmsRead More


Aquila Asks: Who’s Afraid of Pricey Markets?

Jan 18th, 2018 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics, Gold, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A new paper from Aquila Capital Group looks at managed futures, and makes the case that they offer investments tools with which one can achieve a “robust and diversifying risk/return profile.” The paper begins with the concerns many investors have at present. Record long bull markets, high asset prices, andRead More


CRYPTOCURRENCIES – HOT BUY OR HOT AIR?

Jan 17th, 2018 | Filed under: Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

By Diane Harrison With traditional stock markets offering robust gains in 2017 and looking poised to continue their attractiveness in 2018, investors need strong persuasion to shift their equity allocations elsewhere. Enter the latest media darling: cryptocurrencies. The alternatives news feeds are awash in stories extolling the meteoric rise ofRead More


How Random is the Walk? Bond Market Empiricism

Jan 2nd, 2018 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

A new paper, forthcoming in the Journal of Empirical Finance, looks at the corporate bond market, and looks specifically for behavioral biases. Although it finds some, it also finds that they are small, and can’t serve as the foundation for a profitable trading strategy. Though its route is roundabout, theRead More


Top 5 Alpha Stories of 2017

Dec 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics, Insolvency, Newly Added, oil, The A.I. Industry

In surveying this year for dramatic alpha-related stories, we have much whence to choose. This was the year in which the Murdoch family announced its intention to sell some of their highest value holdings to Disney. Also, in 2017 the EQT Rice merger (contested, unsuccessfully, by one prominent hedge fundRead More


State Street Forecasts on Smart Beta

Dec 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Finance & Economics, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Smart Beta

State Street Global Advisors has a new paper out that seeks to help State Street clients “refine their own strategic asset allocation” especially insofar as their portfolios include smart beta investments, by explaining how State Street forecasts returns, and where the forecasts as to some of the factor returns standRead More


Deloitte on Initial Coins Offerings (ICOs) as IPOs

Dec 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Other Topics in A.I., Private Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies

An October 2017 white paper from Deloitte discusses the extent to which the offerings of tokens built upon blockchains have become the new IPOs of the crypto era. There are no binding rules about how to execute an initial coin offering (ICO). Nonetheless, there have been enough of these soRead More


Regulatory Challenges Posed by Crypto Funds

Dec 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A forthcoming paper in the Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance looks at the cryptocurrency markets (bitcoin and its kin), the hedge funds that look to make money from them and the operational issues involved. Two independent scholars collaborated on writing the paper: Edmund Mokhtarian and Alexander Lindgren. AlthoughRead More


Artificial Intelligence and Productivity: NBER Takes a Look

Nov 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, in Cambridge, Mass., discusses what its authors see as a paradox: although artificial intelligence has made astonishing advances in the last 20 years, taking along with it related technologies and stock prices, real income has stagnated, and productivity seemsRead More


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