Abstract: Over-the-counter (OTC) markets attract substantial trading volume despite exhibiting frictions absent in centralized limit-order markets. We compare the efficiency of OTC and limit-order markets when traders' expertise is endogenous. We show that asymmetric access to counterparties in OTC markets yields increased rents to expertise acquisition for a few well-connected core traders. When the existence of gains to trade is uncertain, traders' higher expertise in OTC markets can improve allocative efficiency. In contrast, when expertise primarily causes adverse selection, competitive limit-order markets tend to dominate. Our model provides guidance for policymakers and empiricists evaluating the efficiency of market structures.
Abstract: This paper studies the optimality of pooling and tranching for a privately informed security originator facing buyers endowed with market power (perhaps due to liquidity shortages). Contrary to the standard result that pooling and tranching are optimal practices, we find that selling assets separately may be preferred by originators as it weakens buyers' incentives to inefficiently screen them. Our results can shed light on observed time-variation in the practice of pooling and tranching in financial markets, in particular, the dramatic decline in the size of the ABS market following the most recent financial crisis.
Abstract: We examine the importance of cross-sectional asset pricing anomalies (alphas) for the real economy. We develop a novel quantitative model of the cross-section of firms that features lumpy investment and informational inefficiencies, while yielding distributions in closed form. Our findings indicate that anomalies can cause material real inefficiencies, raising the possibility that agents that help to eliminate them add significant value to the economy. The framework reveals that the magnitude of alphas alone is a poor indicator of real implications, and highlights the importance of alpha persistence, the amount of mispriced capital, and the Tobin's q of firms affected.
Abstract: We characterize optimal voluntary disclosures by a privately informed agent facing a counterparty endowed with market power in a bilateral transaction. Although disclosures reveal some of the agent's private information, they may increase his information rents by mitigating the counterparty's incentives to resort to inefficient screening. We show that when disclosures are restricted to be ex post verifiable, the informed agent optimally designs a disclosure plan that is partial and that implements socially efficient trade in equilibrium. Our results shed light on the conditions necessary for asymmetric information to impede trade and the determinants of disclosures' coarseness.
Abstract: Intermediation chains represent a common pattern of trade in over-the-counter markets. We study a classic problem impeding trade in these markets: an agent uses his market power to inefficiently screen a privately informed counterparty. We show that, generically, if efficient trade is implementable via any incentive-compatible mechanism, it is also implementable via a trading network that takes the form of a sufficiently long intermediation chain. We characterize information sets of intermediaries that ensure this striking result. Sparse trading networks featuring long intermediation chains might thus constitute an efficient market response to frictions, in which case no regulatory action is warranted.
Abstract: We propose a parsimonious model of bilateral trade under asymmetric information to shed light on the prevalence of intermediation chains that stand between buyers and sellers in many decentralized markets. Our model features a classic problem in economics where an agent uses his market power to inefficiently screen a privately informed counterparty. Paradoxically, involving moderately informed intermediaries also endowed with market power can improve trade efficiency. Long intermediation chains in which each trader's information set is similar to those of his direct counterparties limit traders' incentives to post prices that reduce trade volume and jeopardize gains to trade.
Abstract: Episodes of boom-bust cycles tend to occur in sectors with recent arrivals of new technologies and are often related to excessive funding by the financial sector. In this paper, I develop a dynamic general equilibrium model consistent with a role for the financial sector in propagation during such episodes. I extend a standard Schumpeterian growth model by incorporating (a) a monopolistically competitive financial sector and (b) time-varying technological conditions in real sectors. I identify two propagation channels. The first operates through financial firms’ acquisition of sector-specific knowledge (skill channel); financial firms chase "hot sectors" and thereby amplify fluctuations. The second channel originates in an interaction between competition in the financial sector and patent races in product markets (competition channel). Financial firms’ temporary competitive advantages in access to new ventures imply market segmentation: financial firms maximize the surplus generated by the client firms they can currently attract, anticipating competing financial firms’ future screening and funding decisions. Relative to the Pareto optimum, the competition channel generates over- investment in sectors with temporarily improved technological conditions; excessively high growth in these sectors comes at the cost of lower growth in the economy as a whole. The model links financial propagation to time variation in the cross section of asset prices. Exposures to aggregate risk dampen amplification effects.
Abstract: I analyze the links between intertemporal information acquisition and the dynamics of asset markets. In my model, investors are Bayesian learners that optimally choose how much to consume, how much to invest, and how much information to acquire. The model predicts that investors acquire more information in times when future capital productivity is expected to be high, the cost of capital is low, new technologies are expected to have a persistent impact on productivity, and the scalability of investments is expected to be high. My results shed light on the economic mechanisms behind various dynamic aspects of information production by the financial sector, such as the sources of variation in returns on information acquisition for investment banks or private equity funds.
The objective of this course is to study the major decision-making areas of managerial finance and some selected topics in financial theory. The course reviews the theory and empirical evidence related to the investment and financing policies of the firm and attempts to develop decision-making ability in these areas. This course serves as an extension of FNCE 100 (FNCE 611). Some are as of financial management not covered in FNCE 100 are covered in FNCE 203. These may include leasing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, financial planning and working capital management, and some other selected topics. Other areas that are covered in FNCE 100 are covered more in depth and more rigorously in FNCE 203. These include investment decision making under uncertainty, cost of capital, capital structure, pricing of selected financial instruments and corporate liabilities, and dividend policy. During the Spring semester, Professor Opp does not allow students to take this course pass fail.
The objective of this course is to study the major decision-making areas of managerial finance and some selected topics in financial theory. The course reviews the theory and empirical evidence related to the investment and financing policies of the firm and attempts to develop decision-making ability in these areas. This course serves as an extension of FNCE 611. Some areas of financial management not covered in FNCE 611 are covered in FNCE 726. These may include leasing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, financial planning, and working capital management, and some other selected topics. Other areas that are covered in FNCE 611 are covered more in depth and more rigorously in FNCE 726. These include investment decision making under uncertainty, cost of capital, capital structure, pricing of selected financial instruments and corporate liabilities, and dividend policy.