Browsing: Finance & Economics

Foundations of Financial Economics,
Market Efficiency and Active Management
Valuation Models and Alternative Investments

Finance & Economics

Reducing Dependence on (L)IBOR

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

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: Newly Added, Insolvency, Business News, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Private Equity, Currencies, Venture capital, Equity Types of Private Equity, The Global Economy & Currencies, Private Investments, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Finance & Economics

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

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: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Gold, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Other Topics in A.I.

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: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Insolvency, oil, Commodities, Business News, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Alpha & Beta, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Institutional Investing, Smart Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

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: Newly Added, Currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments, Other Topics in A.I.

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: Newly Added, Currencies, Hedge Funds, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Commodities, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Macroeconomics, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Business News, Other Topics in A.I.

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: Newly Added, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Due Diligence Process, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, Smart Beta, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

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: Newly Added, Service Providers, Insolvency, Operations, Business News, Risk Management & Operations

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: Newly Added, Finance & Economics, 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: Newly Added, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Business News, 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: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, Commodities, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Insolvency, Business News, Finance & Economics

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

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: Newly Added, Alpha & Beta, Financial Economics Theory, Asset Allocation Models, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Business News, 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: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Alternative Investments in Context, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Forex, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

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: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Institutional Investing, Institutional Asset Management, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Currencies, The Global Economy & Currencies, Emerging markets

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: Newly Added, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Currencies, Forex, 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: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, Economics, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Alpha & Beta, Financial Economics Theory, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Business News, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Business News, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Venture capital, Private Investments, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, Operations, The Global Economy & Currencies, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics

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: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, High-net-worth investors, Emerging markets, Institutional Asset Management, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

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