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26 posts on "Corporate Finance"

October 19, 2020

How Has Post-Crisis Banking Regulation Affected Hedge Funds and Prime Brokers?



LSE_2020_hedge-funds-prime-brokers_eisenbach_460

“Arbitrageurs” such as hedge funds play a key role in the efficiency of financial markets. They compare closely related assets, then buy the relatively cheap one and sell the relatively expensive one, thereby driving the prices of the assets closer together. For executing trades and other services, hedge funds rely on prime brokers and broker-dealers. In a previous Liberty Street Economics blog post, we argued that post-crisis changes to regulation and market structure have increased the costs of arbitrage activity, potentially contributing to the persistent deviations in the prices of closely related assets since the 2007–09 financial crisis. In this post, we document how post-crisis changes to bank regulations have affected the relationship between hedge funds and broker-dealers.

Continue reading "How Has Post-Crisis Banking Regulation Affected Hedge Funds and Prime Brokers?" »

October 13, 2020

Weathering the Storm: Who Can Access Credit in a Pandemic?



LSE_Weathering the Storm: Who Can Access Credit in a Pandemic?

Credit enables firms to weather temporary disruptions in their business that may impair their cash flow and limit their ability to meet commitments to suppliers and employees. The onset of the COVID recession sparked a massive increase in bank credit, largely driven by firms drawing on pre-committed credit lines. In this post, which is based on a recent Staff Report, we investigate which firms were able to tap into bank credit to help sustain their business over the ensuing downturn.

Continue reading "Weathering the Storm: Who Can Access Credit in a Pandemic?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Corporate Finance, Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 04, 2020

Tracking the COVID-19 Economy with the Weekly Economic Index (WEI)



Tracking the COVID-19 Economy with the WEI

At the end of March, we launched the Weekly Economic Index (WEI) as a tool to monitor changes in real activity during the pandemic. The rapid deterioration in economic conditions made it important to assess developments as soon as possible, rather than waiting for monthly and quarterly data to be released. In this post, we describe how the WEI has measured the effects of COVID-19. So far in 2020, the WEI has synthesized daily and weekly data to measure GDP growth remarkably well. We document this performance, and we offer some guidance on evaluating the WEI’s forecasting abilities based on 2020 data and interpreting WEI updates and revisions.

Continue reading "Tracking the COVID-19 Economy with the Weekly Economic Index (WEI)" »

Posted by Blog Author at 2:58 PM in Corporate Finance, Forecasting, Macroecon, Pandemic, Recession | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 15, 2020

The Commercial Paper Funding Facility



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This post is part of an ongoing series on the credit and liquidity facilities established by the Federal Reserve to support households and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In mid-March, the Federal Reserve announced a slew of credit and liquidity facilities aimed at supporting credit provision to U.S. households and businesses. Among the initiatives is the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) which aims to support market functioning and provide a liquidity backstop for the commercial paper market. The domestic commercial paper market provides a venue for short-term financing for companies which employ more than 6 million Americans. Securities in the commercial paper market represent a key asset class for money market mutual funds. This post documents the dislocations in the commercial paper market that motivated the creation of this facility, and tracks the subsequent improvement in market conditions.

Continue reading "The Commercial Paper Funding Facility" »

April 17, 2020

Treasury Market Liquidity during the COVID-19 Crisis



Treasury Market Liquidity during the COVID-19 Crisis

A key objective of recent Federal Reserve policy actions is to address the deterioration in financial market functioning. The U.S. Treasury securities market, in particular, has been the subject of Fed and market participants’ concerns, and the venue for some of the Fed’s initiatives. In this post, we evaluate a basic metric of market functioning for Treasury securities— market liquidity—through the first month of the Fed’s extraordinary actions. Our particular focus is on how liquidity in March 2020 compares to that observed over the past fifteen years, a period that includes the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Continue reading "Treasury Market Liquidity during the COVID-19 Crisis" »

May 29, 2019

Is There Too Much Business Debt?



Is There Too Much Business Debt?

By many measures nonfinancial corporate debt has been increasing as a share of GDP and assets since 2010. As the May Federal Reserve Financial Stability Report explained, high business debt can be a financial stability risk because heavily indebted corporations may need to cut back spending more sharply when shocks occur. Further, when businesses cannot repay their loans, financial institutions and investors incur losses. In this post, we review measures of corporate leverage in the United States. Although corporate debt has soared, concerns about debt growth are mitigated in part by higher corporate cash flows.

Continue reading "Is There Too Much Business Debt?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Banks, Corporate Finance, Credit, Financial Intermediation | Permalink | Comments (10)

October 22, 2018

Tax Reform and U.S. Effective Profit Taxes: From Low to Lower



LSE_Tax Reform and U.S. Effective Profit Taxes: From Low to Lower


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced the federal corporate profit tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Adding in state profit taxes, the overall U.S. tax rate went from 39 percent, one of the highest rates in the world, to 26 percent, about the average rate abroad. The implications of the new law for U.S. competitiveness depend on how these statutory tax rates compare with the actual rates faced by U.S. and foreign companies. To address this question, this post presents new evidence on tax payments as a share of profits, as well as analytical measures of tax impacts on profitability. We find that the U.S. effective tax rate was already below the average rate abroad prior to enactment of the TCJA, and that it is now well below the rate in most countries.

Continue reading "Tax Reform and U.S. Effective Profit Taxes: From Low to Lower" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Corporate Finance, International Economics | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 01, 2018

Regulatory Changes and the Cost of Capital for Banks



LSE_Regulatory Changes and the Cost of Capital for Banks

In response to the financial crisis nearly a decade ago, a number of regulations were passed to improve the safety and soundness of the financial system. In this post and our related staff report, we provide a new perspective on the effect of these regulations by estimating the cost of capital for banks over the past two decades. We find that, while banks’ cost of capital soared during the financial crisis, after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA), banks experienced a greater decrease in their cost of capital than nonbanks and nonbank financial intermediaries (NBFI).

Continue reading "Regulatory Changes and the Cost of Capital for Banks" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:02 AM in Bank Capital, Banks, Corporate Finance, Crisis, Dodd-Frank | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 29, 2017

Did Investor Sentiment Affect Credit Risk around the 2016 Election?



LSE_2017_Did Investor Sentiment Affect Credit Risk around the 2016 Election?

Immediately following the presidential election of 2016, both consumer and investor sentiments were buoyant and financial markets boomed. That these sentiments affect financial asset prices is not so surprising, given past stock market evidence and episodes such as the dot-com bubble. Perhaps more surprising, the risk of corporate default—which is driven mainly by firms’ financial health but also by bond liquidity—also fell following the election, as indicated by lower yield spreads. In this post, I show that, although expectations of better corporate and macroeconomic conditions were the primary drivers of lower credit risk, improved investor sentiment also contributed.

Continue reading "Did Investor Sentiment Affect Credit Risk around the 2016 Election?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Corporate Finance, Financial Markets | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 09, 2016

Performance Bonds for Bankers: Taking Aim at Misconduct



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Given the long list of problems that have emerged in banks over the past several years, it is time to consider performance bonds for bankers. Performance bonds are used to ensure that appropriate actions are taken by a party when monitoring or enforcement is expensive. A simple example is a security deposit on an apartment rental. The risk of losing the deposit motivates renters to take care of the apartment, relieving the landlord of the need to monitor the premises. Although not quite as simple as a security deposit, performance bonds for bankers could provide more incentive for bankers to take better care of our financial system.

Continue reading "Performance Bonds for Bankers: Taking Aim at Misconduct" »

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